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. tino

    I don't know if cruz remembers senator joseph McCarthy he is fallowing him and will end up as McCarthy.

    October 21, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. Tina M Tompkins

    He still can not admit that he is to blame for the government shutdown. He is just pathetic! He cost this country 24 billion dollars. These guys need to go next year!

    October 21, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. Michael Bellomo

    Sarah Palin in pants!!!!

    October 21, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  4. Texas Anne

    Have to kind of laugh at just how stupid Ted Cruz really is. He always thinks he's right & everyone else is wrong. Such a self centered fool.
    This pretty boy self righteous narcissistic fool needs to go away. Hopefully Texas voters will get off their GOP/TEA duffs next election and vote this looney out. But probably not– because those "real patriots" & "real conservatives" (sarcasm intended) just follow along the GOP mantra & vote a straight ticket and never bother to actually look at the candidate.
    I'm a native Texan pushing 70, and have NEVER seen our state politics in such disarray as it is currently. I was a staunch Republican most of my life, but the last 20 years have caused me to shy away from a singular party. I am tired of the hateful fear mongering that goes on now. And I put a lot of blame on Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, etc. They started it in order to get their candidates elected, and it has just mushroomed out of control. Yes, I am guilty of being hateful in this post, but I think that is what happens. You put up with it just so long and then you find yourself retaliating out of frustration. When you keep getting put down & told you don't care about this country just because you don't agree with the ultra conservative viewpoint, you finally just get sick & tired of the phony nitwads spewing that garbage.

    October 21, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  5. Evergreen

    Cruz = Frankenstein's monster. The GOP created the TP that they have now unleashed on the country.

    October 21, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. Janet

    How can they keep saying that People don't want Obamacare when most people don't know a whole lot about
    Obamacare. Too many people without healthcare and the rest of us pay for it. Can't Ted Crusz realize that
    Obamacare is now law? Most companies now don't offer healthcare anymore. Not because of Obamacare, but
    because of their bottom line.

    October 21, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    How can Cruz call himself a Republican if he doesn't answer to the party's leaders? Is he a 'Kochian"?

    October 21, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  8. John

    This guy is delusional. No different than any of the other finger pointing, blame the other guy crowd. He says the American people want this or that, all broad assumptions to further his own agenda. He doesn't speak for this American.

    October 21, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  9. Sniffit

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

    Asked if its false equivalency coverage of Cruz's effort was a money-making enterprise, CNN said: "Not remotely."

    And both of they're answers are equally believable.

    October 21, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  10. MeanOldMan

    Cruz needs to learn that his twitter followers are not the total of the American people. As long as there are people like him being the face of the Republican party they are going to have major problems. At best he is an opportunist looking out for only himself.

    October 21, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  11. JZ

    The problem with the Old GOP is the OLD GOP. If they want to survive, then the old McCain's, Doles and the like need to step aside and let the Walkers, Jindal's and Brownbacks shake things up. It is the only hope. The Old GOP mentality of; "OK, who's turn is it to run for President...." needs to cease to exist.

    October 21, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  12. Sian Rose

    Senator Cruz, you are absolutely right. You are the GOP's biggest liability.
    The fact that you happen to be a Republican member of the US Senate validates your remark completely. Maybe you should have spoken in a singular context. Especially since the rest of your party is going to great pains to distance themselves from you.

    October 21, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  13. GOP_R_Traitors

    So JP Smith,
    Let's see, tweaks were made to those minority constituencies who claimed bias :" Muslims, Christian Scientists, Amish, American Indian" and since the government, as an employer, was already paying for many Gov workers healthcare, there was mandate for them to seek insurance through the ACA exchanges, with giveback of the $$ they now do not see since the GOv would no longer be providing the insurance, but of course, the GOP in its dying breath on the Shutdown HAD to get SOMETHING from the treasonous activity it did in the Shutdown, and what did they do, they SCREWED the government workers by taking back the $$ differential pay for the insurance, and now the workers have to still get their insurance through the exchanges, but they do not see remuneration for paying for the insurance themself, so they in effect, took a pay cut at the hands of the GOP. The GOP cut their own staff pay. HOW STUPID!!!!

    You have no idea what you are saying you absolute FUGGIN MORAN.

    October 21, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. It's clear

    Cruz doesn't seem to stand for any ideas in particular.... he just seems to stand for belligerance. I can't vote for that.

    October 21, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  15. Sniffit

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

    Asked if its false equivalency coverage of the shutdown and debt threats was a money-making enterprise, CNN said: "Not remotely."

    Equally believable denials.

    October 21, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  16. Pete

    Does anyone check that Cruz was a lawyer hired by the Bushs crooked campaign in 2000..That's where he got his political start lyin for Bushs over Gore to halt the recount with the Supreme Court and seal a tainted victory for the moron from Texas..Seems to me everything from Texas ain't good for this country..Haven't they seceded yet!!!

    October 21, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  17. Lolo

    Just like Sarah Palin They think that they are talking for all of America. Just stupid.

    October 21, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  18. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    You're the problem Rafael!!!

    October 21, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  19. The Real Tom Paine

    -Rick McDaniel

    The GOP Senators have definitely NOT voted in the manner that their voters expect. I have to agree with Cruz........the so-called GOP Senators, are hardly conservatives.
    Presumably because they have not voted to secede, and no one has put forth a bill to demolish the Lincoln Memorial, but hey, give Cruz time: he's been remarkably destructive for having been in office barely 9 months. No real Conservative wants to see the country destroyed, so I have to conclude you are not a conservative any more than you are a Republican. Virus, perhaps, or a disease would fit Cruz and his ilk better.

    October 21, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  20. webman6

    The responsibility for this entire mess rests totally with the Republican Party which has let itself be highjacked by the Tea Party. These idiots need to be run out of Washington.

    October 21, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  21. IceMan

    Wow – Cruz has made the calculation and he is all in. He obviously feels that he doesn't need GOP leadership. It does not look like he is holding a winning hand but let's see...

    October 21, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  22. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    I disagree. The single most damaging thing that happened to Republicans is that folks such as Cruz started pushing the talking point that he and his TeaPer friends speak for ALL Americans. Moderate Republicans knew better and chose to allow Cruz and his side kick Sarah Palin to whip up a political and anti-government frenzy in folks who for whatever reason hate the very government they absolutely depend upon, and have allowed themselves to be led by the very folks elected to the very government these elected officals now spew against while propagandizing an anti-government rebellion for fundraising profits.

    October 21, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. Fred, Jacksonville FL

    Ted Cruz is the exact glaring reason Republicans are moving from the Party to Independent, this guy is a work of art. Talks pompous but it as in-touch with the American People just as Sarah Palin is in touch with her foreign policy "By Gosh I can see Russia from my back door", he should follow her lead and example partially, and quit, but stay outta the lime light before the Tea he is drinking starts to get completely bitter, and the Tea Party movement of radicals closes down

    October 21, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. Wake up People!

    Keep up the great work Ted!! I'm loving it!

    A happy democrat.

    October 21, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  25. oharris30

    John Boehner also needs to go for letting the American people suffer during the shutdown even if he was trying to prove a point to ted cruz and the TP. People suffered. Because of the Bush recession people were already suffering. GOP cry for cuts in government spending but do nothing to create jobs so people don't need entitlements. This should not reflect negatively on the President. You can't talk sense to a nut.

    October 21, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
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