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. Jack

    What's new, he's publicity hog. He is male version of Sarah Palin & Michele Bachmann

    February 26, 2014 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  2. Name

    True patriot.
    don't be fooled by the illusion of the two party system.
    we are living in tyranny,get your guns boys.
    The red coats are not coming,they are here

    February 26, 2014 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  3. Aaron/Texas

    As a true blue Texas independent, I think it's horrible to label Cruz as anti-Republican or anti-American. I think that he is neither. Cruz is fighting for the rights of all Americans in a way he sees best. I will concede I think he is absolutely looney toons.....

    February 26, 2014 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  4. deseon

    Ted Cruz... the gift that keeps on giving.

    February 26, 2014 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  5. S. B. Stein

    Cruz is for his own ideology and nothing for getting the country back together. It seems that Cruz is never going to be a team player.

    February 26, 2014 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Wow! When will the Republicans realize that the Tea party is not part of the Republican party. I am not sure what this gentleman is trying to do, I can not see him lasting much longer. Maybe in Texas but not on the national level.

    February 26, 2014 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  7. Will

    Wow! When will the Republican party realize that the Tea party is not part of the Republican party. This guy is really strange and I do not see him lasting much longer in national politics. Texas can keep him.

    February 26, 2014 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  8. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    This GOP Canadian Cuban CLOWN doesn't represent the people of Texas, maybe the few idiots down their in that hell hole but not the majority. This Harvard educated MORON will be kicked out of the senate after his first term!!!!!

    February 26, 2014 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  9. Chris

    This is what an implosion looks like. My condolences for the relevance of the republican party.

    February 26, 2014 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  10. Bubba

    Cruz us such a putz. He takes to the Tea Party torches like a moth to a flame.

    February 26, 2014 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  11. Marie MD

    This guy is worse than the worst Taliban leader (thanks again to Reagan and $3B given to them to fight the Russians)

    February 26, 2014 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  12. cliffintex

    Keep up the good work, Ted. Conservatives salute you! RINO's need to go away.

    February 26, 2014 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  13. Lewis

    Goodbye Ted! Happy to see you go! Hahahahahah really!

    February 26, 2014 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  14. Shorn

    "...the hard-fought 2014 campaign in which Republicans believe they have a chance to win back control of the Senate."

    They're joking, right?

    February 26, 2014 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  15. Andrew

    Oh GOP. Why oh why did you ever think letting the insane out from the basement would be a good idea. I mean hey we all do stupid things, right? The GOP have allowed themselves to be hijacked by the mentally ill, the religious wackos, and unqualified individuals to enter and run the party. As the baby boomer generation starts to fade or well pass away to put it gently.. the country will lean to the left. Corporatism and greed is not what the rising demographic wants or even desires to continue with. Holding on to this old idea of country and money is a lost cause.. keep up the good work.. your making things way easier for the left to look extremely smart.

    February 26, 2014 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  16. tina

    He is Canadian is he not? He really can not be President. Why is his citisenship questioned?

    February 26, 2014 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  17. ja

    Maybe they should banish Cruz

    February 26, 2014 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  18. rs

    And the circular firing squad continues it work!

    February 26, 2014 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  19. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    How come he is always giving the hile hitler salute, this is America Cruz , not your imaginary nazi country, GOP MORON!!!!!

    February 26, 2014 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  20. Peace

    I am behind you Cruz. Stand on what you believe. Thats what courageous people do. You are my HERO!

    February 26, 2014 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  21. Thinker

    GO TED. thank you-a democrat

    February 26, 2014 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  22. Jim Jimson

    Ted Cruz is an extremist nut.

    February 26, 2014 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  23. Cee Mills

    If Mitch McConnell isn't conservative enough for you, you may be losing touch with reality.

    February 26, 2014 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  24. twalk

    Cruz loves the attention. He will do and say anything for votes.

    February 26, 2014 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  25. OnTheRoad

    He is a politician, so, he lies! What is so surprising about this fact! Happens every day, almost every time a politician opens his mouth (any politician, from either party)!

    February 26, 2014 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
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