Cruz angers GOP colleagues - again
February 26th, 2014
05:36 PM ET
9 years ago

Cruz angers GOP colleagues - again

(CNN) - Several Republican senators said Wednesday they were surprised and angered after a news report revealed that their GOP colleague, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, made a recent fundraising appeal for a tea party group that is trying to defeat GOP incumbents it doesn't believe are conservative enough.

The senators said Cruz's efforts appeared to violate his own pledge to no longer target sitting Republican senators in favor of tea party-backed candidates in the hard-fought 2014 campaign in which Republicans believe they have a chance to win back control of the Senate.

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In addition, the fundraising appears at odds with Cruz's position as vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the organization that works to elect and re-elect Republicans to the Senate.

"I am stunned that Senator Cruz is involved in this fundraising effort for a group that has targeted his colleagues in the Republican caucus," Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, told CNN.

"I'm particularly surprised because I thought he had agreed to no longer engage in that kind of activity of supporting groups that were targeting people he serves with every day in the Republican caucus," she said.

Collins is running for re-election but doesn't appear to be a target of the group for whom Cruz did the appeal.

Politico reported Wednesday that Cruz sent a fundraising letter on behalf of the Madison Project, a tea party organization that is working to help several candidates defeat veteran lawmakers in upcoming Republican primaries.

Those incumbents include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, and Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi.

"I just would rather see us focus on Democrats," said another frustrated Republican senator who asked not to be identified. "I think when Republicans spend a lot of time and resources and effort defeating other Republicans it makes it that much harder to get to 51 in the Senate and that ought to be our goal."

Late last year, during another private GOP lunch following the government shutdown, the Texas Republican got an earful from several colleagues about whether he was involved with efforts by outside conservative groups, especially the Senate Conservatives Fund, to defeat incumbent Republicans.

Cruz promised his GOP colleagues he would not actively work to defeat them.

CNN asked Cruz about his decision to work on behalf of the Madison Project but he declined to comment and directed a reporter to his press staff for a response.

"The senator made an agreement last spring to sign the letter that the Madison Project put out. He remains supportive of their efforts for the conservative cause, and he stands by what he said about likely not getting involved in specific congressional incumbent races," said Catherine Fraiser, a spokeswoman for Cruz said in an email.

Cruz's fundraising was on the minds of several GOP senators as they left a private luncheon in the Capitol that Cruz attended Wednesday. But no one brought up the perceived infraction during the lunch and Cruz never spoke, according to several senators who attended the meeting.

Filed under: Senate Republicans • Ted Cruz
soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. jb1963

    This is great. The more republicans on the ticket the less likely they will win.

    February 27, 2014 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  2. me

    Cruz and the so-called Tea Party needs to be reminded that their kind of strict 'Do As I Say' lunacy is what our forefathers fled England to escape. You aren't going to convert us so maybe you should find another country to 'patronize.'

    February 27, 2014 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  3. s

    Ha somebody is surprised that Ted Cruz isn't a self centered guy who will only act to better his careers standings?

    February 27, 2014 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  4. Dave

    When Republican voters are disappointed in 2014 and again in 2016, they will have Ted Cruz to blame.

    February 27, 2014 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  5. R.G.

    If Senator Ted Cruz had it his way, the middle class, the backbone of America would be in worse shape than we are now in.

    February 27, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  6. Green Chile

    "CNN asked Cruz about his decision to work on behalf of the Madison Project but he declined to comment and directed a reporter to his press staff for a response."

    That's the first time this windbag has declined an opportunity to run his mouth.

    February 27, 2014 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  7. MariaErics

    However crazy Cruz's beliefs are, you got to give the guy credit for sticking to his principles.

    February 27, 2014 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  8. noteasilyswayed

    Ted Cruz is just interested in grabbing headlines and becoming more popular to his base of right wing extremists. He will continue to frustrate any and all others that do not agree with his political positions. The fact that he only represents 20 to 30 percent of the voters does not matter to him; his base and those who elected him and funded his campaign are those 20-30% right wing radicals.

    February 27, 2014 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  9. R.K. Entrekin

    As a Texan I am ashamed and appalled at the actions of Ted Cruz and have started a recall campaign – we are tired of him and his Party embarrassing our state.

    February 27, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  10. bobo

    He was right about Obamacare.... he right to fight against the Debt ceiling....

    February 27, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  11. guest

    haha I love the part when they were mad because he didnt keep his word about agreeing to no longer engage in that kind of activity. Did anyone honestly expect this guy to a.) keep his word b.) not work behind close doors to screw everyone around him over?

    February 27, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  12. hostlint

    Can you say self destructive thanks Ted

    February 27, 2014 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  13. Rosslaw

    Republican Susan Collins is stunned, absolutely stunned, that Canadian Cruz can't be trusted as far as he can be thrown! Poor dear. Maybe when Cruz wqs interviewed after leading the charge on the government shutdown saying that he had been against the shutdown she and her ilk should have gotten the idea that this narciscist's word isn't exactly as good as gold. Go get'em Ted.

    February 27, 2014 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  14. ART

    I want to thank Senator Cruz and his father for infiltrating our government and taking down the Rethuglican party from within,keep up the good work.

    February 27, 2014 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  15. rapierpoint

    Pledging to not support GOP candidates against GOP incumbents is about as crazy as pledging to never raise taxes. If there is a better candidate than some of the incumbents, then they should be selected as the GOP candidate in the regular elections. But too many of the GOP establishment are entrenched in their beliefs (and don't really represent their constituency well) so don't care about getting the best people for the job.

    I'm all for any incumbent official losing their job if they are doing it well.

    February 27, 2014 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    "I am stunned that Senator Cruz is involved in this fundraising effort for a group that has targeted his colleagues in the Republican caucus," Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, told CNN.
    I'm not surprised. It sounds like she got a reality check from the extreme right. What's so new about broken promises coming from conservatives? Look at all of the budgets and agreements that Pres. Obama had thought he had negotiated with the Boehner, only to have the deal fall apart when the Tea Party Caucus wanted more. More recently, look at the government shutdown last fall when party leaders agreed to a "clean bill". While the Senate passed a clean bill, the Tea Party Caucus felt that was too easy, and wanted more. Led by Ted Cruz, they changed their terms, demanding a complete surrender from Democrats, which naturally led to the government shutdown.

    February 27, 2014 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  17. Geewhizwow

    I wish he would put the daggers down......its just too ugly to watch.
    He holds a Canadian citizenship status give me a friggin break birthers.

    February 27, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  18. mstipton

    Every time he opens his mouth he weakens the nation.

    February 27, 2014 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  19. Boomer in Mo

    He made me angry for awhile. Now I just find him hilarious. Go Ted. You will destroy the GOP as we know it, at least for the last five or six years, which may be a good thing. Hopefully a better Republican party will arise from the ashes.

    February 27, 2014 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  20. JRD

    Ted Cruz is a weasel? No way!!

    February 27, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  21. Joi Gibson

    This guy is only out for himself. He obviously cannot be trusted. As a non-Republican, I obviously do not trust him, but Senate Republicans be aware! As Americans, we should all be aware of this fool.

    February 27, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
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