The "gray beards" of the GOP want to let Obamacare implode on its own, but that is little solace for the people who will be hurt in the process, says Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
Cruz, the tea party hero who piloted the effort to defund Obamacare leading to a government shutdown, calls that the "Bad Samaritan theory."
It inflicts harm on the American people just so the Republican Party can benefit from it, Cruz said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."
Members of his own party have attacked Cruz and his cohorts, including Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, with Sen. John McCain calling Cruz's actions a "fool's errand." They say he hurt the Republican brand, crashing the party's approval ratings to record lows.
But Cruz was hailed as a hero when he returned to Texas
for the Republican Women State Convention in San Antonio on Saturday.
Cruz told CNN, "I don't work for the party bosses in Washington. I work for the people of Texas, and I fight for them."
CNN's Dana Bash brought up reports that acrimonious GOP closed-door meetings were more like an intervention, with Cruz refusing to flinch. Cruz responded that he said the same things in those meetings he would have said if a CNN camera had been in the room, but the same wasn't so for those party "gray beards" he mentioned.
"What they're telling their constituents is very different from what they're saying behind closed doors," Cruz said.
Senate Republicans such as McCain sabotaged the effort when they criticized him
and House Republicans rather that standing beside them, Cruz said.
"I wish that Senate Republicans had come in like the cavalry to support [House Republicans]," Cruz said. Instead, he argued, they made a decision "to come in like the Air Force and dive-bomb them."
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