A small group of Republicans reportedly turned against Ted Cruz in a closed-door meeting Wednesday, attacking the outspoken Texas Senator for leading the charge against funding Obamacare which led to the government shutdown, the New York Times reports.
“It just started a lynch mob,” a senator who was in the room told the Times. Republican Senators Dan Coats of Indiana, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin were reportedly present, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky joined in the critique.
Perhaps sensing the in-fighting, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi noted Thursday, “it’s very hard to negotiate with the Republicans when they can’t negotiate with themselves.”
Cruz apparently did not offer further shutdown strategy and allegedly implied his colleagues were defeatists.
“Fighting with the president is one thing,” Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) said. “Fighting with the president and losing is another thing. When you’re in the minority you need to look really hard to find the fights you can win.”
The GOP internal conflict only adds to the Obama Administration’s willingness to stand its ground. An anonymous senior administration official told the Wall Street Journal that the White House is confident:
“We are winning…It doesn’t really matter to us” how long the shutdown lasts “because what matters is the end result.”