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. Candace Clough

    yessss one senator in particular

    October 21, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  2. Hooligan

    So many people on here are angry with Senator Cruz. Calling him names like "stupid" or "horse excrement" (did any of you attend Princeton or Harvard and clerk for the Supreme Court? Same old statist tactics–don't agree with freedom, so you call him stupid [just like you did with Palin]. Why do you hate freedom so much? Senator Cruz is doing EXACTLY what the voters of Texas sent him to do–which is to fight against the Statist policies of the left AND right.

    October 21, 2013 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  3. jmm

    He needs to go back to Canada where he was born. He can't be president. He was born in Canada, but they seem to forget that rule when it's convenient.

    October 21, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. tjhmax

    Let the fools continue to say silly things. That will work against them.
    These guys are living on a different planet.

    October 21, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  5. P

    No Ted, the most damaging thing was not letting Obamacare just fail on its own.

    October 21, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  6. Bob

    Hey Cruz, check the polls: 75 Percent (YES that is 75 percent) of Americans say most REPUBLICIANS do NOT deserve to get re-elected. Bozo Cruz you are only speaker for a handful of tea party fools.

    October 21, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. bp

    In related news, Ted Cruz also claimed today that down is up and up is down.

    October 21, 2013 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  8. J

    No Cruz, YOU are the problem....and after you....the entire GOP is the problem.

    Nice try, though.

    October 21, 2013 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  9. Pat in IL

    He is the most delusional man on the planet!

    October 21, 2013 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  10. gstlab3

    all I can say is wow.,
    nobody would know the truth if it hit them upside their head.
    The country is full of reactionary uneducated dolts and their leaders are not to far off that mark or they are in my humble opinion more than just criminal.,
    This system has been corrupted and dare I say charges of treason and impeachment may be in order.

    October 21, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  11. LJE

    Say what you will but Ted Cruz stood up for the people that ELECTED him. Cruz didn't sell out like the rest of the Senators in Congress. Fattening themselves up at the expense of all of us.
    BTW, you put all that pork in the supposedly "clean" bill past by Congress? Now that would be a real story to publish.
    Reid and Obama both said they wanted a "clean" bill but both of them knew the pork that was in it. Reid won't vote on a bill that would make Congress and others live with The Affordable Care Act and delay the individual mandate for a year because it wasn't a "clean" bill. What a hypocrite he is.

    October 21, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  12. gstlab3

    Usefull idiots, thieves and conspirators are working to undermine the country and the rights and freedoms the people still can enjoy.,
    never mind the debt and the never ending theme of no budget again this year.,
    I say shrink the size and scope of the government and the huge and growing pool of government workers has got to go.,
    term limits and no more insider deals via wall street.
    end the fed and go back to silver and gold as backing the dollar.

    October 21, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  13. Clarke

    Ted Cruz is not the end all to be all, I don't understand the media making him such.

    October 21, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  14. steve-0

    uh, no...the people who vote tea party are the problem

    October 21, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  15. guitar

    Doesn't Cruz look like a young Joe McCarthy?!

    October 21, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  16. Steve

    Cruz reminds me of Nixon referring to himself in the third person.

    October 21, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  17. LJE

    Whoops, sorry. My last post should have read "Who put the pork" not "You put the pork".

    October 21, 2013 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  18. ImvotingforHillary

    This guy is totally nuts as well as a liar. He and his baggers are wrong for the party. I can stomach McCain and the rest of those old, white men, but not this fool and the minions he brought with him.

    October 21, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  19. spudnik56

    Cruz ...Palin's twin sister...together they equal a very ,eager human...maybe...

    October 21, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  20. John

    Doesn't the public, who believes that the House GOP should be removed in it's entirety by 53% of all people deserve part of the blame? You Cruz, you lose!!

    October 21, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  21. Marguerite

    What's in that tea he's drinking? I think it's affecting his perception of reality.

    October 21, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  22. Lou

    This guy is a lunaric. If he represents Latinos in this country....they are in trouble.

    October 21, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  23. MaryM

    Now even Americas Veterans are extremely angry at Ted McCarthy Cruz. Keep running your mouth Ted and you will get the Majority of Texans to vote you out of office. You are NOT for America, you are for Ted and Ted only

    October 21, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  24. Jack

    Mr. Cruz

    If you want to hold on to tha illusion, go ahead! It will be interesting when you fall off your white horse


    October 21, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  25. pchelp, Juneau, AK

    Hey, Cruz-wake up! It's the GOP in the House that's opposed to most Americans. Or don't you believe the polls?

    October 21, 2013 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
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