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)

    This man is off his tea party rocker. He is so out of touch with reality. But he gives democrats a good name.

    February 27, 2014 05:31 am at 5:31 am |
  2. LakeRat1

    It still looks like the next Republican president hasn't been born yet!
    Come on, Republicans, eliminate this disease from your party!

    February 27, 2014 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  3. johnrsenior

    Come on, folks, the Texas 'Dynamic Duo' . . . the pandering 'Teds' . . . have finally found the 'true' intellectual and political 'base' of Texas. Not since the advent of 'Mad Magazine', Alfred E. Newman, and 'Spy vs Spy' have we had such . . . illuminating entertainment. And for those of us not consigned to live in 'Koch-land' . . . we don't even have to drink the Kool-Aid !

    February 27, 2014 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  4. Buffalo

    . This guy has crossed the line too many times. The Republican Senate and House leadership is a little late trying to put the genie back in the bottle. .

    February 27, 2014 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  5. skytag

    "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

    Susan must be very naive. Cruz is one of the biggest political opportunist I've ever seen. I wouldn't trust anything he says.

    February 27, 2014 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  6. Garner Foley

    I hope he keeps it up! Republicans need more like him!

    February 27, 2014 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  7. Robert

    Cruz seems to fill the definition of "meglomaniac", and relishes in the kicking of his allies. If this is how he deals with his friends, how could America believe for one second he could work with those who won't/don't agree with his quasi-beliefs?

    February 27, 2014 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  8. McDoud

    Cruz is so far to the right he is left. Cruz is the Democrats best friend.
    If he had any hope of being successful, Cruz would be the most dangerous man in US politics.

    February 27, 2014 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  9. Buvia

    Why is anyone surprised?? Cruz has only ever been for Ted Cruz -he has no respect for anyone else-this is not his first lie-remember I did not want the govt to shut down-that is Obama's faul-t after he campaigned for and bragged about the govt shutdown he caused-he is a Cuban Canadian and NOT an American and cares nothing for this country or he would not be trying to destroy it

    February 27, 2014 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  10. panz4ever

    Why are the Republican party members stunned. Cruz wants to make a run at the presidency and actually believes that the Tea Party movement is representative of ALL America and Americans. This is his way of putting himself in the best possible position. He could care less what the majority of people actually believe and think.

    February 27, 2014 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  11. ug

    Boohoo! the establishment doesn't like it when they are challenged so that they might loose their power...get rid of the establishment!

    February 27, 2014 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  12. Paul

    He is a dangerous person to this country.

    February 27, 2014 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  13. stewart

    let em eat their own. this guy is a joke

    February 27, 2014 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  14. gibb

    Keep the HEAT ON TED work on Mc Cain also another obamer bobble head!

    February 27, 2014 08:08 am at 8:08 am |

    I actually support this! Enough with "establishment" Republicans and Democrats. We want "Change", right? Everyone who voted on this campaign promise, wanted "Change". I want "change". I have seen 3 decades of "establishment" politicians lie, cheat, steal and even go to jail. Why do we want more "establishment" representatives? If we're not happy with it, then why do we question, or even insult, a guy who is wanting to make real "change" in our government?

    February 27, 2014 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  16. sharkusg

    He's obviously a political terrorist planted by the Democrats.

    February 27, 2014 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  17. seanster77

    Typical CNN liberals. No story about Reid saying all of the Obamacare nightmare stories are false, but you have a story running that some in the Republican party disagree with Ted Cruz. You are such a bunch of democratic party suckups.

    February 27, 2014 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  18. Walter Adams

    Cruz just went too long without some media attention, so it was time to stir up a bit of controversy. Ted Cruz is only interested in Ted Cruz. Now, if only all the idiots who voted for him would finally realize he's not promoting Texas, just himself, maybe they could do themselves and their state a favor by making him a one-term loser. Or at least he should be honest and officially leave the Republican Party and put "TP" behind his name instead of that insincere "R."

    February 27, 2014 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  19. Republicans Anonymous

    Ted Cruz, the most important person on Earth. If you don't believe me, just ask him. His ego was so big he had to move to TX where they love to follow self-important ego maniacs.

    February 27, 2014 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  20. tychi

    It is all about politics. Cruz will say and do anything to promote himself for more votes.

    February 27, 2014 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  21. Richard in Houston

    Shocked shocked that there is gambling going on in this establishment. Really guys. Shocked? He a the tea Party darling. No matter how you look at it this make the republican leadership look like idiots.

    February 27, 2014 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  22. ShawnDH

    What a nutball.

    February 27, 2014 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  23. Bewildered by the fact that this guy makes the news

    Lynda, You shouldn't question it, your instincts are dead on. Ted Cruz is part of a movement that calls itself a group of Americans, when in reality they lobby against all things American. Ted Cruz and those like him are the definition of being Anti-American.

    February 27, 2014 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  24. Guest

    Well, I just love it when republicans eat their own for breakfast. Regardless of his party though, I doubt I'd ever vote for him just because of some of the crazy things he says, supports, and other things he does not support. Hang on folks, this is going to be a very entertaining but bumpy ride to Nov. 2014.

    February 27, 2014 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  25. Al-NY,NY

    Wake up People!

    Keep up the good work Ted! The Democratic party salutes you!!

    he is one of the best weapons the democrats have...along with Simple Sarah

    February 27, 2014 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
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