CNN played another portion of Dana Bash’s interview with Ted Cruz where she asks him about being so hated by his Senate colleagues after the debt ceiling vote. Cruz says that vote is a perfect example of why Congress has a 13 percent approval rating and criticized the Republican leadership for trying to trick their constituents into thinking they didn’t want the debt ceiling to pass when they really did.
Cruz also mentioned that he was asked by several colleagues at a Senate lunch why he wanted to throw five Republicans under the bus and make them vote for the debt ceiling. Cruz said he responded that he doesn’t want to throw anyone under the bus, but rather he wants all 45 Republicans to stand together and do what they tell their constituents.
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DANA BASH: I did not think it was possible to hear your leagues, your Republican colleagues angrier at you than they were after the government shutdown. But I actually think you’ve topped it. They are really, really upset with you, that you tried to stop the debt ceiling with a filibuster and forced your colleagues to take really, really tough votes that you knew would be tough for them.
TED CRUZ: Well, you know, it’s interesting. I think last week actually is a perfect illustration of everything that’s wrong with Washington. Republican leadership said ‘we want this to pass, but if every senator affirmatively consents to doing it on 51 votes, then we can all cast a ‘no’ vote and we can go home to our constituents and say we opposed it.’ And listen, that sort of show vote, that sort of trickery to the constituents is why congress has a 13% approval rating.
DANA BASH: You are talking about Republican leadership.
TED CRUZ: Uh-huh.
DANA BASH: One of the people you are talking about is your senior senator in your party who happens to be the number two Republican in the Senate, John Cornyn, who voted to try to stop your filibuster. Is he trying to fool Texas voters?
TED CRUZ: Listen, I like John Cornyn. He’s a friend of mine and he and I have agreed on a vast majority of issues. I disagreed with him on this.
DANA BASH: Part of the eyebrow raising criticism of this particular filibuster is that it wasn’t the kind of filibuster that you did over the shutdown. You weren’t out there 21 hours saying green eggs and ham, reciting that. You didn’t give a speech at all. You were in the corner on the floor at your seat and just watching the chaos quietly. It wasn’t even sort of a real filibuster. If you wanted to really block it, why didn’t you talk about it?
TED CRUZ: As I said at the outset is I am not going to affirmatively consent to giving Harry Reid the authority to do this because it’s irresponsible. It’s selling our nation’s future down the road.
And, you know, you go back to those Senate lunches. I won’t identify anything but I’ll tell you several people raised a question just like you did there. Why are you trying to throw five Republicans under the bus and make them vote for raising the debt ceiling? And I’ll tell you my response. I don’t want to throw any Republicans under the bus. I’d like to see all 45 Republicans stand together and actually do what we tell our constituents.
DANA BASH: The “Wall Street Journal” called you the minority-maker. And the idea there is, this is really what this is all — what it’s all about is that you force Republicans to take votes that could hurt them in their races and could put the Republican party in the minority again. Do now not want to be in the majority? What’s more important, being in the minority or party purity.
TED CRUZ: , I want to win and turn this country around. The way we lose is not standing for anything.
DANA BASH: On a human level, I know that you are in Washington fighting for the grassroots, but you are a human being and you are sitting with people around you who, I would think that you have some respect for, they’re fellow senators in your own party. For them to be so mad at you, so mad at you, what’s that like?
TED CRUZ: Oh listen, what I try to keep an eye on, is that I don’t work for the party bosses in Washington. I work for 26 million Texans…
DANA BASH: But you are a human being. Does it sting?
TED CRUZ: As a human being, I can’t control what they say, how they behave. I can control what I do. So every interaction that I have with every senator, Republican or Democrat is consistently civil, courteous, respectful, treating them with the dignity they deserve.