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. reneadijab

    And now, they start to bite each other.

    October 21, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  2. Nicholas Smith

    "The love of money is the root of all evil." The entire GOP has let its love of money pervert its original goal of making America great, into an "I've got mine, screw you" operating plan.

    It must stop.

    Only TERM LIMITS, and the outlawing of PACs and large contributions,can repair the damage done to our government.

    We The People have to fix this mess, and fix it at the Polls.

    October 21, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  3. ritmocojo

    And so says Joseph McCarthy re-incarnate ...

    October 21, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  4. dude

    why does Cruz insist on speaking for all Americans when he, like all Senators, represents a constituency of one state. only the President speaks for all – only he is elected by all. Cruz needs a lesson in civics. What the hell do they teach at Princeton?!

    October 21, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  5. Maria

    This guy is completely insane! If it wasn't for the Senate Republicans we all be floating down a river.

    October 21, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  6. runymede

    Cruz is the problem !

    October 21, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  7. dkc_2001

    Cruz is nothing more than a puppet for the far right Moral Majority...oops, the Tea Party.

    October 21, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  8. Wake up People!

    That's right Ted. Pull your out of touch party even further to the right. Just remember Obama won't be on any more ballots.......

    October 21, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  9. Marie MD

    The more I hear this Canadian terrorist talk the more I truly believe that he is plain NUTS!!! Why is he being interviewed like a hero? He's a traitor to his country of Canada, giving up his citizenship to pretend he can run for president in the US!
    The repugs lined themselves against the American people? Listen up, Rafael bin laden, 54% of Americans think that the house being run by teatards is a bad thing for the country. Forty four to 31% have more confidence in our president than the rethug house.
    Just because you went back home to your crazies and received an eight minute standing ovation that doesn't mean that 26 million texans nor the rest of the country agree with you and your socialist ideas. Sometimes standing and making a fool of yourself because you believe in something doesn't make it right as was this case.
    You cost our country, not yours, $24BILLION. Maybe your crazy followers can help you pay for it.

    October 21, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  10. Siestasis

    There will be change alright but not the kind Crazy Cruz wants.

    October 21, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  11. Joe

    Someone burn down the house and then blame it on people who built it with wood...but Cruz is not a problem, there is always people like him around, the problem is with the Texans who sent this guy to burn down the house.

    October 21, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  12. Jim Thomas

    It's not about party affiliation anymore, It is strictly about cutting federal government spending. At our present national deficit of 17 Trillion, each working American owes $123,000 in tax due to the debt Congress has allowed. The spending MUST STOP... and he sooner it stops the less pain our country will have to endure. Prolonging the spending will only serve to ensure our economic collapse. Think that will be fun ? Just take a look at Detroit and tell me how you like it.

    October 21, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  13. WV Gleeman

    I can't wait until Cruz is up for re-election. Not that I can vote for or against him but I want to see what his reaction is to losing..BIG.

    October 21, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  14. tnsurge

    Everybody's the problem......but me!

    October 21, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  15. ST

    Anyone with the glue to stick to the mouth of this crazy Cruz. I had enough already of his nonsense. Can he wait for about 3 months and come up bombarding the government again as he has done. That is time am eagerly waiting for. For the time being, its enough already.

    October 21, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  16. Anonymous

    I wish he would stop staying what most Americans want. He is not representing what I want.

    October 21, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  17. Rowing Stone

    The problem is Ted Cruz and the Tea baggers in general. THe worst thing to happen to the US since 9-11. Their Political terrorism failed and hopefully if they do this again, it will be the end of the Tea baggers and thier GOP party in the House. THese are not Ameicans, they are t baggers and should not be using the name of the brave Americans that engaged the British at the Boston Tea Party.

    October 21, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  18. greennnnnn

    My LORD, when is this dude gonna give it up? What a frikkin' tool.

    October 21, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  19. S. B. Stein

    Cruz seems to think that he works for the people of Texas, but has he talked to all of them about this and the repercussions of the shutdown? I don't think that he fully thinks through his actions which should make the people in Texas reconsider him being one of the member of the US Senate.

    October 21, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  20. nintex

    Is anyone besides me sick of Cruz saying he speaks for the American people? I want to sit him down and force him to look at some poll numbers which say the opposite. Of course, Cruz would say the numbers were made up – anything to keep his fantasy going in his mind.

    October 21, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  21. Boomer in Mo

    He's found out he is not as smart as he thinks he is. Of course it is the fault of the people who are smarter than he is. Whaa! Poor baby.

    October 21, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  22. hozo1

    all about the money .. who is he kidding ... instead of party before country ... Cruz is Cruz before party ...

    October 21, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  23. Patrick in Wisconsin

    Correction, Ted Cruz is the single-most damaging thing for the GOP in 2014.

    October 21, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  24. gahh

    GOP is definitely bad for all of us, but especially the tea party Republicans, of which Ted Cruz is the worst. Cruz needs to go before Boehner, and is worse than Boehner. The Republican party has sold out the people to take care of Big Business billionaires and their Lobbyists. The people in Texas are brain dead, for ever voting for this sellout to Big Business and their Lobbyists. They think Cruz is doing a great job, and stand behind him. Just stupid!

    October 21, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  25. Phil in KC

    I can think of one Senate Republican who is damaging their efforts and the GOP brand – Ted Cruz.

    October 21, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
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