Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 31, 2014

Will Cruz’s Clout Fade After Strategy Failed?

gop sens005 101613 330x213 Will Cruzs Clout Fade After Strategy Failed?

Cruz speaks to reporters Wednesday as Senate leaders announced a deal to reopen the government. (Tom William/CQ Roll Call)

Talking to a small group of reporters Wednesday, Sen. John McCain struggled to be heard over the booming voice of Sen. Ted Cruz, who yards away had assumed the stakeout position usually reserved for leaders in the Capitol’s Ohio Clock Corridor.

Cruz was railing on Senate Republican leadership, on the president’s health care law and on the “establishment,” in front of a swarm of reporters. Cruz’s words rang like a triumphant victory speech, even though his strategy to link defunding of the Affordable Care Act to funding the government had failed. In the shadows of cameras trained on the Texas Republican, McCain, a 26-year Senate veteran, was peeved and a touch incredulous as to how this debacle played out for his party.

“That’s fine. He’s entitled to that,” the Arizona Republican said, when asked about the impromptu Cruz news conference in front of him.

McCain then quickly shifted to praising a bipartisan group of 14 senators, led by Maine Republican Susan Collins, who served as a catalyst for the agreement leaders eventually brokered. “There are 14 of us who have already joined together. Many more wanted to join that group — a lot more — so there’s a real impetus to prevent this from happening again and for us to work together,” McCain said. “I hope we have learned … in 1995, we learned a lesson then, hopefully it will be another decade or so until we try this again.”

But there is residual fear from aides in both parties that it won’t be 10 years before another standoff, that the conservative faction mobilized by Cruz (especially in the House) won’t be moved by recent polls showing a huge hit to the Republican brand, and that, perhaps most dangerously for GOP leaders, Cruz and his acolytes won’t care. Asked time and again whether they were concerned that Cruz would draw a similar line in the sand in the months ahead when it comes time to fund the government and pay its bills again, multiple senators demurred or laughed nervously. They’ve seen this show before.

Cruz is the Senate heir apparent to former senator and current Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, a man who once famously said of a moderate colleague who later was forced out of the party: “I’d rather have 40 Marco Rubios than 60 Arlen Specters, and the reason for that is if you want 60 Republicans, you’ve got to have at least 40 to start with who stand on principle.”

Cruz has starred in ads for DeMint’s former PAC, the Senate Conservatives Fund, which is actively campaigning against incumbent Republicans, and so these past two weeks have only expedited the process of his falling out of favor with many colleagues.

The question is whether the Republicans who pushed this deal to reopen a government shuttered for more than two weeks have the strength to resist Cruz if he pushes a similar strategy again.

“We have larger constituencies to answer to — a whole state,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said of the differences between Senate Republicans and the House members led by Cruz. “You know, I’ve got a primary, but I care about the party, not just my place in the party. I care about how many Republicans are up here, not just the fact that I am one of them.”

The South Carolina Republican easily could have been one of the members pressured by his right flank. He has a challenger this cycle and made brief moves that underscored that. (He came out in favor of an amendment sponsored by Sen. David Vitter that would have revoked congressional staffers’ employer contributions to their health care, for example.) But on par he seems to be more a leader of a growing group of Republicans fighting against the tea party machine than he does a resigned participant in it.

“The question is, how do you handle that pressure [from outside conservative groups]? I’m not mad at a group wanting their way. I am trying to focus all the Republican Party to chart a better way,” Graham said. “The way we’re behaving and the path we’ve taken over the past couple of weeks leads to a marginalized party in the eyes of the American people, a form of conservatism that is probably beyond what the market would bear. It has been the best two weeks for the Democratic Party in recent times because they were out of the spotlight and didn’t have to showcase their ideas. They do poorly when the spotlight’s on them. Apparently we do poorly when the spotlight’s on us.”

Republican senators such as Bob Corker of Tennessee and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma have pushed back on the Cruzification of Congress by arguing that forcing a shutdown over the health care law has detracted from the GOP’s message of reining in spending. Many of their colleagues were frustrated by the strategy and the tanking in the polls, even if Cruz did bring in his own pollster to a conference meeting last week to try to calm their nerves.

For now, Senate Republicans who overcame Cruz and jammed House conservatives seem to be holding their collective breath.

  • Bob Viering

    Nope. Sen. Cruz will not change or back down. I believe the real postmortem from him, the Heritage Foundation and their ilk will be that we (Republicans) were not pure enough and we need to push even harder for more like us so those Democrats can’t kick sand in our face ever again.

    The only hope for a more sane Washington is if the vast majority of Americans that are centrists push for like minded individuals to be elected. Be they Republicans or Democrats, we need representatives that actually represent America and not super PACs.

    • DrowningInTheSeaOfRed

      You mean like the 70% of Americans that disapproved of creating a government shutdown in order to attempt to defund ObamaCare? Just how the hell were you representing America by carrying out a strategy the people did not support?

    • jwilliamweed

      Hey LIBTARD join the communist party they are all alike just like the LIBTARDS and morons that you say are like ….with the same minds thats a oxymoron

      • Bob Viering

        Thanks for your comment it was quite eloquent. Not to be picky but, the Communist Party should be capitalized and it should be “an oxymoron” not “a oxymoron”. Poor grammar is not a good reflection on the Tea Party.

  • Jonas Grumby

    He had clout? Oh sure, he had clout with about 40 loons but … seriously?

    He couldn’t even filibuster. He just yaps. He skulks. Sire, he screams like an idiot and some love to follow that, but once he’s confronted he hides.

    He had no clout. he will have less. Personally, I would LOVE the TeaBags to nominate him for POTUS. They wouldn’t even carry Utah.

    • lighteredknot

      AS the sovereign debt increases and obuma care train wrecks and becomes single (FEDERAL GOV’T) payer CRUZ will get many more votes than you imagine Oh pseudo savant genius you. Fiscal melt down is a coming hossfly.

      • atronetti

        It would be great if you could give some examples. Austerity doesn’t work, as Europe has proven country by country. It sinks the economy further into a recession. Now, honestly, that is what the GOP radio hosts would like, as it would happen under Obama. However, it would be a disaster for our economy. The numbers that Cruz and Ryan and the fiscal austerity advocates relied upon were wrong. They know that, but try not to the mention it. http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/04/the-great-debt-delusion-how-math-keeps-proving-austerity-wrong/275037/

        • jwilliamweed

          ahh lets me and the wife , while laying in bed , decided to follow obomos idea and raise our debt limit. We set letters to our creditors telling them to give us more without raising our debt. They referred us to obomos ebonics math made easy class taught by sebillass and poluski.

        • jwilliamweed

          My God you morons, do you really expect anyone to believe that you can even comprehend what 1 Trillion dollars , much less 17 Trillion in debt.. oh thats right Bushes great, great, great, great, great, great grand “daddy’s” ( sort of like babymammas) just so you have a reference point, it was his fault right LIBTARDS

      • Deblyn

        Must you tea partiers always stoop to namecalling? Apparently.

        • Gary

          LOL I just name call back, as it is usually not possible for them to understand complex issues.

          • jwilliamweed

            ahhh how do you use a bengizi card or fast & furious card or nsa card or irs card or a food stamp card, or disability card, or 99 week card or higher taxes card or the big lie card LIBTARD

          • jwilliamweed

            pretty complex huh LIBTARD

          • Deblyn

            Maybe I should consider that Gary, as it seems the only thing they understand.

        • jwilliamweed

          Well the truth never works so we thought stooping to you’re level might work.

          • Deblyn

            You tea party loons wouldn’t know the truth if it slapped you in on your obtuse heads

    • atronetti

      Cruz only filibustered because a state rep in Texas received a lot of national attention during her REAL filibuster.

      • jwilliamweed

        Baby killers always receive attention!

    • jwilliamweed

      obomo’s minions just let everyone know who they are afraid of, the LIBTARD occupy america, is going down one way or another.

  • Harry1962

    Cruz’s clout faded about 10 minutes into his 21 hour speech. I bothered to listen to some of it. Senator Cruz should find other work.

    • Gary

      Who would hire him? Maybe McDonald’s might? Wal-mart is always possible, or he could just go on back home to Canada and leave us alone!!

      • highcourt

        ha.. he should go back to his fatherland.. Cuba. I am sure /Fidel will welcome him & his dad with open arms.

  • vetvoter

    If the GOP has a brain, they will make sure Cruz is history. Not only is he plotting to take down the U.S. government, he’s trying to undermine and destroy his own party.

    • Nick

      and your solution to pay china back for the $17 trillion US debt (current debt, not including future payouts to entitlements ) Is???
      Please tell us genius???

      • Henry Clay

        Exactly! Vetvoter is all about handing out cash to Democratic dependent constituencies, but has no clue that the handouts will come to a catastrophic end during his (her or its) lifetime. The money pit is about empty as takers are to eclipse taxpayers and the international community moves closer to shutting off America’s credit. Eat, drink and be merry (on the US govt. tab), vetvoter, for tomorrow we die.

      • Jesse4

        “Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter”

        • Nick

          SO, you have no solution, Donkey’s usually don;t

        • Gary

          W and Chaney said the same thing as Raygun!!

      • highcourt

        learn Mandarin & make dim-sum

        • Gary

          LOL

      • Gary

        Make corporations and the rich pay their fair share of taxes!! It is a fairly simple concept, and even you teabaggers should be able to understand it!!

    • Deblyn

      So true. I think once people realize who he really is it will benefit democrats.

    • jwilliamweed

      LIBTARD Cruz is just the beginning of history. He is what you LIBTARDS are afraid of, someone we can rally around and throw out the RINOS and put you all in re-education camps so you can read and understand the Constitution and Bill of Rights

  • MrSmith

    It took all Reid had to best Cruz- a mere freshman- because we are very worried about our huge debts and obligations and the just crazy spending of Washington that cause them.
    Reid would have done himself, his Party, and the country better to have addressed those problems.
    Instead they grow apace so Cruz will only gain support.

    • Jesse4

      And Cruz gave all he had and lost.
      Lost billions of tax dollars, lost the fight over Obamacare, lost a lot of would-have-been Republican votes, lost the confidence of international markets in the US, lost the respect of anyone who didn’t already know what a hustler looks like, etc. etc.

      • Deblyn

        Well said Jesse. I couldn’t agree more.

      • Gary

        Yeah he blew 24 Billion bucks with his little antics. That would pay for a lot of meals for kids, and a heck of a lot of other things too.

        Can you imagine how much he would waste if he had more time? Screaming about spending, then blowing $24 Billion is not fiscally sound!

    • atronetti

      Cruz is not about balancing budgets or reducing deficits. No one even knew what this was about until late in the game. The ACA is not some monolithic welfare program. In fact, it doesn’t affect 85% of the country who already have insurance. It is the beginning of getting outrageous health care costs under control. In case you’ve forgotten, this was the brainchild of the Heritage Foundation, not Obama. Businesses and industry realize that the health care costs cannot continue to rise as they are, and not impact profits and the nation’s competitiveness in the global market.

      • overabbylee

        To further atronetti and Jesse4…what Cruz did gain…is money in his personal coffers – this was his best fundraiser (Con) yet. His end game has nothing to do with serving anyone….but himself. Ask Mitch McConnell.

        • Deblyn

          Touche’

          • jwilliamweed

            And we will give to more than Cruz LIBTARDS

          • Deblyn

            Jeez weren’t years of Bush and that creep Cheney enough?

      • Deblyn

        And thank you gor calling it ACÁ instead of the folks calling it Obamacare in a disparaging way.

      • jwilliamweed

        Did you read that in Rules for Racist or on the bathroom wall at stalins house

  • Mojojojo

    “McCain then quickly shifted to praising a bipartisan group of 14 senators”

    You can take your 14 Senators and shove them, McCain, moderate Republicans voted with Cruz to shut down government too, and waited just like Cruz until the last minute to give unanimous consent to raise the debt limit. If these 14 were replaced by tea partiers, results would have been exactly the same. I can’t tell the difference.

    • tpartynitwit

      You can take Tedious Ted Cruz and shove him up your cave of shame. Better stuff a mirror up there with him or he’ll get restless and cause bowel movement.

    • Nick

      Go take US government 101 before you spout your mouth off, otherwise it just shows your ignorance. A president lying to the American people about his lawful role in running the government does not make it so. The law is out there for you to read, even if so many people in America are too ignorant to read it..
      The EXECUTIVE branch (that’s the branch of government under control of the PRESIDENT ) has the power to EXECUTE (therefore EXECUTIVE) administration of the government. Therefore the current PRESIDENT (Obama) gets to decide what all the federal departments do, which are open and closed and who runs them. So when things are closed, its by the PRESIDENT’s decision. Congress or the senate cannot tell parks and recreation or the FDA what to do.

      • overabbylee

        I think you need re-read a civic’s lesson or two….(shaking my head). Clearly you are not alone in how you think government works, and that is the real tragedy which enables people like Sen. Cruz to grift his constituencies and people in general.

        • Nick

          You have no solution, you are one of the sheep, or in your case a donkey

          • overabbylee

            and you are irrelevant….

      • Mojojojo

        overabbylee is correct, but before that you need a reading lesson rofl, I didn’t even mention Obama or the executive branch in the post you replied to. Changing the subject cedes the argument.

      • Deblyn

        I didn’t notice Pope before your ñame but you sure are pontificating.

  • Nick

    Lets hope Ted Cruz gains power. There are only 3 possible solutions to our growing (over $17 trillion ) national debt.
    1. Cut spending (Ted Cruz”s attempted solution)
    2. Print phony money (loose money policy) which drives up inflation and devalues savings. This is the current solution but will need to drive inflation to a very high rate like 50% to work Think $50 for a gallon of milk.
    3. Complete crash and bankruptcy , ending the US government as we know it. When China and other stable countries see they will never be repaid for loans and will not loans us anymore money.

    • Nick

      So what do Harry Reid, John McCain and Barack Obama choose as a solution? Add more debt and let our children pay the price for collapse of the United States…..
      good job , way to lead the sheep to slaughter.!!

      • Jesse4

        Sounds exactly like the Republican solution.
        I mean, what they do. Not what they say.

        • Deblyn

          Nick, that will never happen.

          • Gary

            Well it won’t if we can keep the repubs away from the budget!!

          • jwilliamweed

            You fools money will be worthless in obomos world of slavery

      • atronetti

        Sorry. You are mistaking them for Bush. If you follow international news, you will remember that austerity does not work, and is causing the European economies to collapse. Austerity sinks the economy further into the recession, as has been proven again and again. The research forming the basis of Cruz’s proposals was based upon false numbers, a fact that Cruz does not like to mention. http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/04/the-great-debt-delusion-how-math-keeps-proving-austerity-wrong/275037/

        • Nick

          So Greece and Italy are your shining examples. One, then two then three bailouts from the EU to keep them afloat and from collapsing the Euro. LMAO….. SO tell me Atronelti, which country iis big enough to bailout the United States and the dollar when it collapses ??? Not even China can bailout the US ! When the US dollar collapses from inability to pay the debt, the government collapses. I;m prepared, but don;t you and your kids come to me looking for food.

          • Gary

            Of course you are prepared, just like all the other end of worlders, nut cases and race war hopers. Get a real life. Greece and Italy went into this mess, got bailouts and all then done all the cuts, not cuts first. The EU forced those cuts and has driven them further and deeper into recession. Even the IMF has said that taxes must be raised. You need to quit listening to faux news.

          • jwilliamweed

            No we are not end of worlders we are survivalists, the strongest will survive and your type will still be serving a different master.

        • Deblyn

          And a little reminder our déficit has gone down considerably compared to 5 years ago when George WMD’s Bush was running things.

          • jwilliamweed

            obomo ebonics math made easy…..1+1=3

          • Deblyn

            What a jackassed thing to say. Had to throw something racial in huh?

          • jwilliamweed

            No heres something racial I HATE STUPID WHITE PEOPLE

          • Deblyn

            Well I’m sure you know a lot of them
            Are you in a club?

          • Deblyn

            Well I’m sure you know a lot of them. Are you in a club?

          • jwilliamweed

            ahhhh LIBTARD ebonics obomo math made easy…..1+1=3 raising the debt doesn’t make debt….obomo at a presser look it up LIBTARDS

          • Deblyn

            Such an enlightened individual you seem to be, especially considering the second syllable of the slur you are using. Obviously you are an equal opportunity bigot.

        • jwilliamweed

          Sorry I did not mean for you to read what I wrote on the bathroom wall at Walleys World it was just a joke like you’re facts.

      • jwilliamweed

        Our children have no hope of paying anything back, this is not about money but the take over of the people of the US starting with the really stupid first, LIBTARDS, and then a civil war between the communist LIBTARD obomoites and the Patriots who own 300 million guns and many more millions of “LEAD” ammo to to poison LIBTARDS and the envirobomo LIBTARD air with….Can’ hardly contain myself waiting for the hoards of LIBTARDS so we can thin out the gene pool.

    • Gary

      You of course did not mention the most obvious item. That would be to make corporations and rich folks pay a fair tax. For corporations, that is just to get them to actually pay a tax to begin with. I am all for going back to the tax rate under the republican Eisenhower, 92% on earnings over 2 million.

      We can destroy our economy like Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy have done. They cut and cut and cut on the budgets and with each cut, it has driven them all further and further into collapse. Portugal at least has stopped the cuts and jobs are starting to come back.

      • jwilliamweed

        Does that mean people will have to actually go to work everyday and contriubute to the socialist communist demo party???? where does a #1 LIBTARD go to sign up????

  • mrbill

    You have to at least give him credit for representing his constituents and following though on his campaign promise. A rare event among today’s politicians.

    • atronetti

      There is a difference between representing your constituents honestly, and a few members bullying the majority.

      • Nick

        Yes, we call people like Cruz that stand up for their country patriots, while we call people like Reid, Obama and McCain lying politicians..

    • Bob Viering

      Not true. His campaign promise was to repeal or defund the ACA. Obviously, he failed on both counts. The President promised to defend the ACA. He’s the one who followed through on his campaign promise.

      • mrbill

        He said he would do everything in his power, which he did.
        what we got from obama, was nothing like he promised, so although he did defend it, he lied about what it was when he sold to us.

  • cobaltbluedolphins

    It is amazing that this thundering blockhead had any clout in the first place.

    • Nick

      It’s amazing that liberals can actually type, or did you have a chimp type this for you?

  • donald boersma

    ted cruz did this country a great servive he flushed out 25 weak link’s…..

    • Gary

      Every last one of them is a weak link. We didn’t need Canadian Cruz to point that out. Lord knows he is the weakest of the weak links!

      • jwilliamweed

        no we need the kenyan obomo

  • ThisIsNot4U2

    I would watch out for Senator Cruz. Because he’s got the whole Dr. Seuss book collection…And he’s NOT afraid to use it.

    • Deblyn

      Amen.

    • jwilliamweed

      ahhh that proves he can read and comprehend simple things unlike the LIBTARD obomo minions killing baby’s by abortion everyday.

      • ThisIsNot4U2

        @jwill…ANYONE (except Palin) can read a CHILDREN’S book. I’ll bet if you hand Cruz a copy of “War and Peace”, he would shut the HELL up.

  • Defend The Constitution

    While some Western success has been due to capital, the liberty that unleashes its citizens’ ingenuity & courage has been more important.

  • atronetti

    You can thank Citizens United for this. Thanks to Citizens United, Cruz and his brand of confrontation have plenty of funding to challenge more moderate GOP candidates during the primaries. Maybe you agree with Cruz this time or maybe you don’t. However, think about what happens when you have an honest policy disagreement with him. Do you really want that kind of bully in Congress?

    • Nick

      We really must have patriots that put country ahead of party otherwise the United States is doomed and idiots like you will collapse the government and the dollar within 3 years. What is YOUR solution to pay off the $55,000 owed by each family in the US? Did you send your $55K in yet?

    • Nick

      SO the answer to the HUGE debt that Obama has run up is to tax political contributions at 50%.

  • highcourt

    Cuban Cruz crossed the Rubicon– he’s now facing the Ides of March. With his ego–it’ll take awhile to ‘kill’(metaphorically,of course) this egomaniac.. but it’s OVER!
    his Harvard professor alan dershowitz stated he’s analytical but not a tactician/strategist.. this is his downfall.. he wanted everything too soon..now,he’ll pay for the consequences of having such grand ambitions/illusions. & failing.No matter how he deludes himself he won..

    • Nick

      Blah blah blah, the dems are communist and the repubs are gutless losers, The Tea party is on the rise and the republicans have become useless fools. Cruz doesn’t need them. The US needs Cruz

  • johngaltfla.com

    We are about to find out about Mr. Cruz’s real intentions. I maintain unless the Republican Party leadership is removed, he is nothing more than a profiteer.

    Are Tea Party Republicans Principled or Profiteers?

    http://johngaltfla.com/wordpress/2013/10/17/are-tea-party-republicans-principled-or-profiteers/

  • Nick

    Tea Party supporter smarter on science topics than liberals. (and most other topics)
    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/tea-party-science-98488.html?hp=r3

    Of course we all knew that.

  • Nick

    We really need patriots like Cruz that put country ahead of party otherwise the United States is doomed and idiots like Reid and Obama and McConnell will collapse the government and the dollar within 3 years. What is YOUR solution to pay off the $55,000 owed by each family in the US? Did you send your $55K in yet?

  • ThisIsNot4U2

    If Mr. Cruz is the TP’s “ace in the hole” (and a-hole), then they had better start preparing their CONCESSION speech for 2016.

  • Gary

    If you had a brain you might be scary. A few years ago, GE got a refund. It is pretty simple tax all company profit, no matter where it is.

    That is a simple and one Dems have argued for a a long time. If all these companies were to have to pay taxes on ALL their profits, then maybe in a few years, at least 10, we may lower the rate. It would need to be the same rate for several years to pay for their tax evasion for so many years.

    When and only when they have paid their fair share for a while will I say that we can lower the rate. I do think that it should be lower, but only in time. You freely admit that they try to evade taxes but moving profits over seas. Well it looks like other countries are starting to fight back as well. They will soon have no where they can park their money to evade taxes.

    I think that we also need to force companies that sell anything to the government, to purchase every part of said item to be fully made in the US, with US supplied parts, electronics etc.

    Nothing can come from any country but ours!! Why do the right want to support all those jobs in China? Bring them home!! Make them come home, tax the hell out of them if they make it there, refuse to accept anything not sourced, built in the US.

  • Liberalism is Nonsense

    Those who preach from collectivism’s altar claim that justice and prosperity are simply matters of plundering the “rich” to satisfy envy.

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