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. bilk7

    I have no doubt that Ted Cruz is anti-American. He hates our President. He hates our form of government. He has done everything in his power to block and obstruct any progress our nation has tried to make to move forward and get the economy going again. He's not alone either. Many of these obstructionists will wear their flag lapels and spout patriotic words but their agenda is clear.....destroy their fellow Americans who may not agree with their policies and keep the current administration from gaining any success whatsoever.

    February 26, 2014 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  2. Paul f

    Just think if this party gets a majority of the House and Senate. They will never agree with themselves forget compromise or governing. The country will be in trouble.

    February 26, 2014 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  3. RickFromTexas

    It will be interesting to see how long it will be before Teddy goes full rogue and gets into real trouble with GOP leadership.

    These tea party types think that more people are extremists like them and that the country wants more tea partiers in power, not less. Boy are they ever in for a big surprise.

    But until then, I fully expect them to keep attacking GOP moderates and I won't be a bit surprised when there's an outright revolt on the right at some point. And that's probably when the tea partiers will finally realize how much of a minority they really are.

    February 26, 2014 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  4. Keith

    way to go Ted, making life good for Democrats next election

    February 26, 2014 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  5. Keith

    Cruz is anti-American, I don't know how he got elected but the racists in Texas love him

    February 26, 2014 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  6. darknesscrown

    He's a real master of enemy-making, isn't he? Has anyone explained to him and the rest of the Tea Party that you won't get anything done–ever–by making everyone hate you. Lesson #1 in Politics 101 is definitely NOT "Burn bridges with everyone you don't see eye-to-eye with and NEVER RELENT in the face of overwhelming opposition" He must have skimmed that chapter.

    February 26, 2014 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  7. Wildernessyes

    What is wrong with Texas and Texans?

    February 26, 2014 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  8. terry mcclinton

    Anti American? Exactly what I expect to see from the brainwashed masses. He is practically the only guy in DC willing to put his assistant on the line for what HE believes in. Not what his party or his puppet masters are demanding. Keep it up Mr. Cruz. I Didn't like you before but you're growling on me. Paul/Cruz 2016!!

    February 26, 2014 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  9. Youth For Bevin

    If the Republicans voted into office would actually represent the party platform, voters would gladly support them. It's when we see someone such as McConnell work against those values, and side with the Dems, voting again and again to raise the debt limit, doing NOTHING to stop the ACA that we seek someone who will be a leader.

    Cruz is a great Senator. One of the few who stands on conservative principles and is more concerned with representing the people.

    The Madison Project is a conservative group that seeks to support candidates who believe in our constitution and limited government. You should check out their endorsements for 2014. =D

    February 26, 2014 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  10. Jim

    This highlights the fact that the tea party is trying to hijack the Republican party. Their views might be similar in ways, but they are fundamenally a different idealogy. The Republican party should push back on this. If the tea party believes they have a valid platform, then let them stand on that alone.

    February 26, 2014 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  11. navaJohn

    Even if you vote for a reasonable (non-tea party) Republican there's no guarantee their votes won't be strong-armed into a direction you don't want to go. Look at how they shutdown the government instigated by this guy, a 1st year freshman Senator from Texas. And how did he get to be vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee when he's only been in the Senate for a year! The GOP has been taken over by larger forces and no matter who you vote for the trend continues to be hard right.

    February 26, 2014 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  12. TomGI

    Why are they surprised? Ted is a habitual liar.

    February 26, 2014 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  13. sonnie3

    Many Rinos need to go/ Can't tell them from the libbies/

    February 26, 2014 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  14. Prudence

    What can be expected from a political party defined by a totemic obsession of 'purity?' You reap what you sow and there is not turning back.

    February 26, 2014 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  15. Name James Farabee

    McCain is the one most naive, because he think he has wisdom and memory to compete with Obama. he also think because he went to the service he has the edge, to be a true politician. that's why I want politicians to quit after 65 years old. JW

    February 26, 2014 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  16. sonnie3

    Lots of Rino's need to be thrown out/ Can't tell them from the libbies. Ted Cruz is leading the task for honest, trustworthy, transparent government and he knows the spending is a large liability that we are passing on to our grandchildren and that is a shamefull thing to do. It is time to get real and Congress needs a cleaning up of the parasites that just don't get it.

    February 26, 2014 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  17. Name James Farabee

    Ted Cruz right in the middle, and that's what we need in politics today. Democrats say yes Republicans no, Republicans say yes
    say no. the one percent drive the car(money) JW

    February 26, 2014 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  18. wesscott2014

    Ted Cruz is definitely anti-American. It probably stems from his Canadian and Cuban heritage. What is amazing is that so many conservatives support him considering his foreign heritage and the damage he does to his own party.

    February 26, 2014 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  19. wesscott2014

    Ted Cruz is definitely anti-American, but what do you expect from a guy of Canadian and Cuban heritage? What amazes me is that so many conservatives still support this clown in spite of the fact that he is anti-Republican Party and anti-American. Ted Cruz is a traitor and a coward.

    February 26, 2014 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  20. Ken

    I'm not sure why they're shocked. They're only seeing what the rest of non-corporate America already knows, that you can't trust a conservative at face value to save your life (or nation).

    February 26, 2014 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  21. Independent

    These far right wacko's are trying for a political coo, time to stomp the treasonous tea party, enough is enough.
    Tea Party = Any group that is vehemently against government taxation, but is largely funded by billionaires that
    have benefited from corporate welfare, is a fraud. The biggest organizational contributors to Tea Party caucus members are the people and political action committees associated with AT&T, Honeywell International and the American Bankers Association, to name a few.

    February 27, 2014 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  22. texasgreenacres

    GOP Your as stupid as you sound.Cruz is a Canadian with American citizenship That thinks if he makes enough noise and makes a big enough ruckus he can be president.He a publicity hound a real true scam.And the TEA party crowd is to damn stupid to see it.I'm truly sorry about your affliction of ignorance.But there again your not real GOP'ers

    February 27, 2014 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  23. mountainlady

    Ted Cruz is an arrogant rocket off course. He has made it clear that he doesn't care what anyone in his party says and that he has no respect for the office he holds. He's on a taxpayer funded ego trip. Our system was designed to prevent extremist splinter groups like the Tea Party from dominating the government but it hasn't worked in this case. The Tea Party represent people who apparently would be pleased to see the government fail and the country fall. All they're about is Greed, Guns and that order. Well....they've certainly got their spot in history.

    February 27, 2014 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  24. jlg

    Ah cripes! Does he still have Canadian citizenship?

    February 27, 2014 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  25. wiseup:

    If these T party candidates make the same mistakes that some of the other candidates did in 2012 and open their mouths and make offensive statements that alienate certain groups like women, races, gays or any other groups not white males could not only keep status quo in senate but maybe lose additional seats to Democrats. could also lose seats in house to Dems. If more Ted Cruz clones do get into additional seats their will be closed signs all over the federal govt. God Help us.

    February 27, 2014 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
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