Senate Republicans are angry at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for saying that a vote to allow Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) to add an amendment to fund Obamacare is in fact a vote for Obamacare.
In addition, Senate Republicans are upset that Cruz wanted the spotlight put on them during the Friday cloture vote.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who was attacking Cruz on his defunding strategy for weeks before Cruz’s quasi-filibuster that lasted 21 hours, had a testy exchange with Cruz on the Senate floor on Thursday.
“You want the American people and the outside groups that you’ve been in contact with to be able to watch us tomorrow,” Corker said. “The reason we’re waiting is that y’all have sent out releases and emails and you want everybody to be able to watch. And it just doesn’t seem to me that that’s in our nation’s interest.”
Cruz said he wanted the cloture vote on Friday and not on Thursday night or on Saturday afternoon, when Americans will be watching college football and not paying attention to which Republican senators are allowing Reid to fund Obamacare.
“Why is Majority Leader Harry Reid going to vote the same way you’re proposing to vote? Why is every Democrat in this chamber going to vote the way you’re proposing to vote,” Cruz said, according to Politico. “We told our constituents we oppose Obamacare, we meant it. So we are not going to be complicit in giving Harry Reid the ability to fund Obamacare.”
Cruz has consistently made the point that if the the vote for cloture was indeed a vote against Obamacare, then why are Democrats voting for it? Further, Cruz has said that Republicans who vote for cloture and then vote against Reid’s amendment to fund Obamacare, when that vote would only need 51 senators instead of the 60 needed for cloture, should not be able to falsely tell their constituents that they voted against Obamacare.
According to Politico, Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) (R-AK) also recently attacked Cruz behind the scenes when he “stood up and yelled at Cruz earlier this week for making it sound like Republicans were not willing to kill Obamacare.” In addition, other Republicans at a Thursday lunch were reportedly “grumbling” because Cruz wanted the cloture vote on Friday.
Earlier in the week, Cruz told Rush Limbaugh that the defeatist attitude of Senate Republicans would be enough to make him go to therapy. Cruz has emphasized that Republicans have been pummeled in three of the last four elections (2006, 2008, 2012) in which they did not boldly contrast themselves with Democrats. In 2010, when Republicans embraced Tea Party conservatives and ran against Obamacare, they won back the House in a historic midterm election.
On Thursday, conservative talk radio host Mark Levin, who was the first nationally syndicated talk radio host to endorse Ted Cruz’s Senate campaign, said Cruz was a “historic figure” for building a movement. Cruz reminded Republicans that they won in 2010 by promising to “rip Obamacare out root and branch” and many have “forgotten” that voters reward politicians who “stand and fight for the American people.”