Tags: Ted | Cruz | Obamacare | Rift

Ted Cruz' Fierce Stand Against Obamacare Creates Rift in GOP

Saturday, 21 Sep 2013 07:55 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has been in office for less than a year, but already the freshman Republican lawmaker's fierce stand against Obamacare has pitted him against other Republicans who fear he will hurt the party in the 2014 elections.

This week House Republicans accused Cruz and two other Republicans — Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah — of backing down just when the party needs them to fight, CNN reports.

On Wednesday, Cruz issued a statement that said Senate Republicans don't have the votes they need to defund Obamacare, and urged House Republicans to "stand firm, hold their ground, and continue to listen to the American people."

However, he praised House Republicans for their "unity" in making the vote.

Cruz' doubts about the Senate Republican vote are nothing new but his current stance is infuriating many in the House, who consider the tactic futile and self-serving.

Republican New York Rep. Peter King, who called Cruz a "fraud" who will "no longer have any influence in the Republican Party" on Friday, had even stronger words for his GOP Senate colleague Saturday, reports Mediaite.

Story continues below video.

Editor's Note: Should ObamaCare Be Defunded? Vote in Urgent National Poll

Senate Republicans like Cruz, who are trying to force the issue, are “holding the entire Congress hostage," said King, who voted for the House resolution to defund Obamacare while funding the government.

King said he cast his vote "to keep the process going," but predicted the Senate will strip Obamacare defunding from the bill, pass it, and send it back to the House.

The Senate's vote would show Cruz was "being fraudulent all summer" while exposing the intentions of the senator and others who were crying out for a defunding measure, King said.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, challenged Cruz and Lee to back up their words, saying that he expects his "Senate colleagues to be up for the battle."

One senior GOP aide told CNN that Cruz and his supporters gave up the fight as soon as they heard the House vote, saying "they should walk the walk."

Cruz has also declined to say if he'd filibuster the budget bill once it gets to the Senate, leading yet another leadership aide to compare him to Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis, who filibustered an anti-abortion bill in texas.

"It is disappointing," the aide complained.

Republicans are also complaining that Cruz and Lee are painting themselves as being the only two Republicans against Obamacare, when the party has been united for months against the law and still opposes it, reports The Associated Press.

Further, there are Republicans such as conservative Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns, who claim that Cruz and others pushed hard for a repeal on Obamacare to mine more than one million signatures on a "Defund It" petition for future fundraising, perhaps even a potential presidential run in 2016.

The Obamacare and budget battle are also causing trouble for incumbent Republicans.

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee said that while he's been raising funds to support senior Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander's push for a third term, Alexander has to use the money to "defend himself against ads that Republicans are helping create."

Such fights could undermine the Republicans' shot at taking a Senate majority next year, with the GOP needing to gain six seats to win control of the chamber.

Cruz' retreat has also led to joking speculation among conservatives that he may be part of a liberal conspiracy to undermine their efforts, reports The Huffington Post.

"Cruz is the leader of a secret cabal of leftists that are seeking control of the conservative movement," said one senior House Republican leadership source. "Their aim is to force the party to take on suicidal missions to destroy the movement from within."

But there are still people who stand behind Cruz' stance, calling for the Senate to keep up the fight.

Radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt tore into "whiny" House Republicans for backing away from Obamacare foes like Cruz, Mediaite reports.

Hewitt admitted the fight against Obamacare can't be won, but would still give Americans insight about "what a disaster it is."

Cruz has promised to do "everything and anything possible to defund obamacare," including a possible filibuster.

Cruz and Lee are also still appearing in Senate Conservatives Fund ads, which are running nationwide. The fund has raised $1.8 million so far this year, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Editor's Note: Should ObamaCare Be Defunded? Vote in Urgent National Poll

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