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. Jason

    "To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence" Mark Twain. And I believe the gentlemen from Texas qualifies for both.

    October 21, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  2. Madison

    Since cruz is part of the senate gop, he has kind of a point.

    October 21, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  3. Digit

    24 BILLION dollars! That's what this lunacy has cost the American People! Ted Cruz does not care about government..his whole purpose is to revolt against the government.......these self-made crisis of leadership have cost us dearly......it is time the moderate center took back the government and start governing and US citizens start voting these extreme right and left officials out of office. Obviously none of them are competent to stand trial...

    October 21, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. Gene2

    I'd say Cruz is the single most damaging thing for the GOP as well as the single most awesome thing for the Democrats. Keep talking, Teddy–you keep burying the Repub's chances in the next national election with every sound bite of bile you spew.

    October 21, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  5. rs

    The problem is that as long as the Washington politicians continue to provide free or reduced price "stuff" to the masses, the masses will keep voting for them – regardless of what it means for the Republic.
    You need to understand that opposing viewpoints are why we have political parties. There would not be a Democratic Party if they simply did in lockstep what the GP demands. Meanwhile- let's analyze your statement:
    Using a Republican ideology (personal responsibility- right out of a Hertiage Foundation Health Care proposal) to encourage peple to by commerical health insurance ought not be radical at all. Nor is the idea that everyone should have health insurance as good as the lousy legislators who try to crash the government. That ought to be a no brainer for the "party of life". Meanwhile, yes, the Democrats do emphasize helping the least in our society- just as the GOP only wants to help the 1%.
    You lost- get over it. Our society will survive- propbably better than if the "punish the poor" crowd won.

    October 21, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  6. John Keimig

    Question: What does it take to make a Tea Party Loyalist embrace ObamaCare?
    Answer: A pre-existing condition.

    October 21, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  7. anchorite

    Ah, when you're universally hated, go on the attack, huh? Good plan.

    October 21, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Come on media, you have to call the spade a spade and not a big spoon. This man Cruz blew it up. Why are you ashamed to call him and tell him what he did to the country was wrong. I have seen you dancing around and pretend as if he did something wrong/good or whatever. That is not what sincere/genuine journalists like your fathers did
    The media is being well-recompensed for their complicity in this fiasco with advertising revenue.
    They are in on it ST.

    October 21, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  9. jimmiek in Texas

    Delusion is difficult to temper and impossible to reason with. Certainly the ACA needs some serious fixing. That the USA continues to run a deficit is a problem, a big one. That the National debt is near 100% of GDP, warning bell, red flag, cause for concern. Leading your troops into battle, getting them all killed and then blaming it on the troops – SERIOUSLY PRICELESS! Rafael does know that if he pisses his fellow Senators off sufficiently that they have the option of expulsion.

    October 21, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  10. Steve

    Something aint right with this boy.

    October 21, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  11. Rudy NYC


    "Sen. Cruz: I'm siding with Americans"
    The rich ones like the Koch brothers who want to buy more politicians
    the ones who are anarchists and want to bring America down?
    Is there a difference between your anarchists and the Koch brothers? No one can successfully serve two masters, which strongly suggests that he's serving only one. Cruz admittedly does not answer to Republican leadership, so he obviously answers to his most significant campaign donors. the Koch brothers.

    October 21, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  12. Dallas

    I'm from Texas and Ted Cruz is nuts! If CNN and the other media would just ignore him perhaps he would just shut up and stop his wild rantings and ravings for a respectable period of time. Please don't judge all Texans or our state on the basis of this lunatic. If we could recall him, I believe we would.

    October 21, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. easchner

    There's at least one Republican in the Senate responsible for a lot of this, so he's kind of right.

    October 21, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. Rudy NYC


    The Senate GOP is about the last bastion of sanity in the Republican party.
    Hey, Darth. Cruz is part of the Senate GOP. But, seeing how Cruz doesn't answer to the leadership, I see your point.

    October 21, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  15. commonsense

    "Senator" Ted Cruz is the biggest problem of all.

    October 21, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  16. PA

    Can we go after all of these senators and house reps for treason?

    October 21, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  17. Knucklehead

    This guy is a complete m o ron. He completely filled both feet full of bullets by distracting everybody from the problems rolling out the ACA. Instead of making that a focal point, the Republicans somehow made people despise them even more than they already do. Sharp as bowling balls, these guys.

    October 21, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  18. julie

    ...........oh he is from Texas, just like rick perry and the bushes..........goodness what are they drinking in Texas......lots of crazie coo coo's from that State

    October 21, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  19. Jack

    "PROCEED" with that kind of talk, cretinous Cruz--we, Democrats, can't thank you enough.

    You'd never know this guy went to Havard.

    October 21, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  20. Joe O

    What is with Texas that they keep visiting these idiots upon the rest of the country?

    October 21, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  21. Will

    Your party popularity is at a all time low of 24% and the ACA law is now supported by 47% of Americans, but you just keep swimming up that stream senator

    October 21, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  22. Steve

    In the janitorial business, they would call this guy a floater.

    October 21, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  23. Ol' Yeller


    "Sen. Cruz: I'm siding with Americans"
    The 2 million from across the Nation who signed the petition to defund Obamacare. The rest of his 26 million constituents in TX can go spit.

    October 21, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  24. 2Km N of GZero

    The Cruz logic seems to be that common-sense governing the country runs a distant second to strict adherence to the purity of his ideology.

    October 21, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. Herbal Tea

    Why does Ted Cruz falsely misconstrue that the 'American People' are against the PP & ACA. As per the polls, some Americans want it to go further and not be defunded.

    According to the poll, just more than four in 10 say they favor the law, with 56% opposed to it.
    But of those opposed, 38% say they are against the law because they think it's too liberal and 12% say it's not liberal enough. That means that 53% either support Obamacare, or say it's not liberal enough.

    October 21, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
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