October 21st, 2013
08:16 AM ET
9 years ago

Cruz: Senate Republicans are 'single-most damaging thing' for the GOP in 2014

(CNN) - If Republicans suffer losses in next year's mid-term elections because of the recent partial government shutdown, Sen. Ted Cruz said Senate Republicans–not Democrats–will be responsible.

"The single-most damaging thing that has happened to Republicans for 2014 is all of the Senate Republicans coming out, attacking the House Republicans, attacking those pushing the effort to defund Obamacare and lining themselves up opposite of the American people," Cruz told CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash in an interview in San Antonio.

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His comments, which aired Monday on "New Day," come as a new CNN/ORC International survey indicates that more than half of the country is displeased with Republicans holding majority power in the House.

According to the poll, 54% say it's a bad thing that the GOP controls the House, up 11 points from last December, soon after the 2012 elections when the Republicans kept control of the chamber. Only 38% say it's a good thing the GOP controls the House, a 13-point dive from the end of last year.

Cruz to CNN: ‘I don’t work for the party bosses in Washington’

This is the first time since Republicans won back the House in the 2010 elections that a majority of people say GOP control of the chamber is bad for the country.

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Cruz helped lead the conservative Republican strategy to attach anti-Obamacare provisions to must-pass spending legislation this fall. With the support of the White House, the Democratic-controlled Senate refused to take up anything that tried to dismantle the president's signature health care law.

Ultimately the disagreement led to the 16-day partial government shutdown, which removed $24 billion from the economy, according to an initial analysis from Standard & Poor's.

Republican shutdown pain may boost Dems in 2014

Many Senate Republicans rebuked the effort led by Cruz, a first-year senator who was elected in 2012, and they privately and publicly discouraged the senator from pursuing the tactic.

"It was a fool's errand to start with. It was never going to succeed," Sen. John McCain said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

McCain didn't single out Cruz but blamed "the whole effort" instead.

"Keep up the fight against Obamacare. But don't shut down the government and have so much collateral damage," the Arizona Republican added.

Some argue Cruz's strategy was taken in part to raise money for conservative groups that back primary challengers. One group, the Senate Conservatives Fund, which supported Cruz last year, raised $2.1 million in September–a large amount for a nonelection year.

McCain: Obamacare website rollout a 'fiasco'

Asked if his effort was a money-making enterprise, Cruz said: "Not remotely."

The Texas Republican said he's "hopeful" Senate Republicans will change.

"I am hopeful there will be some time, some reflection, and that Senate Republicans will come back. Come back to the principles they believe and they campaigned on. I'm hopeful we'll actually put action behind the campaign promises," he said.

In the Senate, Democrats hold 55 seats, including two independents who caucus with the Democrats, while Republicans hold 45. Democrats are defending 21 of the 35 seats up for grabs next year, with Republican defending 14.

- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2014 • Congress • Ted Cruz
soundoff (827 Responses)
  1. Michael Benjamin

    This train wreck that is masquerading as a U.S. senator needs to go.

    October 21, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. larry

    Don't worry about the Middle East. The problem are the people that support Cruz. Ya know, they said Hitler and Stalin were intelligent also.

    October 21, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. simplefaith

    CNN why are you interviewing Ted Cruz anyway? He wants the publicity on him. He is so unlikable and a turn off . He is more of a nut case. Anyone who cannot see this man is SICK and follows him has no logic. He is going against his own Party. He is considering another SHUTDOWN? One guy who is as sick as hell, can shutdown the US? Time to impeach him, remove him from the Senate ASAP.

    October 21, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  4. P. Norman

    The Tea Party and morons like Ted Cruz are going to screw things up for the GOP yettttt agaaaain!!! People will vote Democratic just to distance themselves from this idiotic behavior. Someone has got to step in and save the Republican party before it's too late. e

    October 21, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. mike mcgloin

    Boy, for a long time Republicans would blame only Democrats; times have changed.

    October 21, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. Simple Jack

    Never go Full Retard.

    October 21, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  7. Dicazi

    What planet is the guy from?? Or dimension, as in Superman's Bizarro world. Born in Canada, yet he doesn't realize that gives him Canadian citizenship. One of his parents was not a native-born American, yet he expects to appeal to the same voters who decry Obama because one of his parents was born in Kenya. He treats the utter failure of his plan to defund Obamacare as a victory. Yes, he's apparently still a favorite in his district, yet that just says how far to the far right his district is. I doubt he could even win 1 Republican presidential primary. Even in his own state.

    October 21, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  8. Terry

    This would be funny if we all weren't now 100% aware that Cruz is a brainless, arrogant, moron who is an embarrassment as a politician and a Republican (and I am a Democrat!). If the Senate were smart and decisive, they would strip away any committee assignments he might have and move into a corner of the Senate chamber permanently with a dunce cap until a reasonable, thinking Republican challenged him and swept this idiot into and buried him into the dustbin of history. I will gladly donate to any Republican primary challenger to this bad joke of an alleged politician.

    October 21, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  9. Hencon

    Cruz is correct. The democrat party purged itself of moderates long ago. That is what Zell Miller was talking about when he (a democrat) spoke at the 2004 GOP convention. The turmoil you see now in the GOP is the slow realization that they must do the same to survive. The losses republicans have seen in the last few election cycles is not a shift of the country to the left, but rather a lack of enthusiasm on the part of the base. Rank and file republicans are sick of rino GOP politicians not fighting for the principles they claim to stand for.

    October 21, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  10. lilly

    Teddy, Teddy, Teddy come on back to Texas stop playing make believe and left the grown ups get to work.

    October 21, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  11. Al

    I guess Cruz thinks the Senate is the problem because it can still function when McConnell isn't filibustering it into submission.

    October 21, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  12. Enoch

    I am fairly certain he didn't realize he was being interviewed by a reporter, per se. I think he thinks he was talking to Sam I Am and that it was a quiet conversation between friends over breakfast.

    October 21, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. evdncepls

    Good ol' suicide Cruz, repeating the mantra of the ever marginalized faaaaar right: repeat a false statement over and over again and it will magically become true...ugh

    October 21, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  14. Bill

    Someone needs to tell Ted to pass the crack he is smoking around. He's getting brain damage from smoking so much.

    October 21, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  15. ozarkan

    "... lining themselves up opposite of the American people."

    This guy evidently has yet to meet the American people.

    October 21, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. Paulteague

    This nincompoop that's been defecated on US soil needs to be sent back to Canada before he does any more damage.

    October 21, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  17. Tom

    You know, the guy even LOOKS like Joseph McCarthy

    October 21, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  18. Billy Bob

    My goodness, gracious, how did America get along before this slick, pile of horse excrement, dropped into our lives?

    October 21, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  19. michael collins

    maybe the problem is with Ted Cruz. He doesn't support the Republican Party, the People of the US, only his own perverted sense of power. Why give him air time?

    October 21, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  20. chuckie

    Keep it up, Ted. Let us know when you need a new shovel. Oh, if you decide to run for president, don't think you are going to get a pass on the fact you aren't a native born citizen. The birthers have given out plenty of ammunition; you will be held to the standard they set.

    October 21, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  21. Gurgyl

    This Texan has no brain. Idiot.

    October 21, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  22. Robert

    And Ted Cruz is the answer. Ted Cruz/Pee Wee Herman 2016. Just win, baby.

    October 21, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  23. johno54

    These guys are like a bunch of pyromaniacs. The start these fires and then they run for cover and watch all of us running around like fowls without a head.
    GW starts two wars and couldn't wait to leave the white house in tatters, Now good old Ted has gutted the GOP and blames everyone except himself.
    This is truly sick

    October 21, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  24. M

    Oh, Ted, you simpleton. You so want to be president, but you just keep screwing up. First, you championed a cause that you couldn't hope to win and that most Americans didn't support. But OK, you probably thought you'd increase your name recognition among Republicans. Fair enough. But now, after your plan failed, you blame your own party for the failure? Not smart. So now you'll either fail to win the GOP nomination because most of your party won't support you after you threw them under the bus, or, even if you somehow manage to get nominated, you're not going to have a united party behind you. Lots of people in the moderate wing of the party (assuming there's a moderate wing still there in 2016) will either not vote, or some of them may vote Democratic rather than vote for you. In short, you're done.

    October 21, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  25. Shalom Aleichem

    Yo...Ted...never fear because November 2014 is coming and those GOP RINOs mentioned by you
    Already have a ticket to the Senate graveyard and conservatives will be saying...RINOs who ???

    October 21, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
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