Democrats’ Biggest 2014 Weapon: Ted Cruz

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J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Senator Ted Cruz emerges from the Senate Chamber after his overnight crusade railing against the nation's new health care law at the Capitol in Washington, Sept. 25, 2013.

Democratic strategists plan to “aggressively” tie Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to all Republicans next year in an attempt to scare away moderate voters, party officials say.

“Die-hard Republicans will consider him their best surrogate, and we consider him our best surrogate too,” says Democratic National Committee spokesman Mike Czin. “Wherever he goes now, I think he’s a political liability for all Republicans.”

The effort takes a page out of the time-honored playbook of guilt by association, which Republicans so ably deployed in 2010 by using Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi to hurt Democratic congressional candidates across the country. Their aim is force Republicans to either embrace the Republican senator to shore up their conservative flank or shun him in order to appeal to moderates, either way alienating a vital swath of the electorate.

So far, Republicans are bearing the brunt of the shutdown blame, and are more likely to be criticized for their handling of the fiscal crises among critical independent voters, an ABC/Washington Post poll found Monday. Moderate Republican operatives believe that Cruz will damage their brand with those independent voters, costing them a shot a retaking the Senate that just months ago seemed to be well within reach. “Reid secret weapon,” Republican consultant Mike Murphy tweeted Sunday. “Ted Cruz starting wave of Salem Witch Trials inside GOP. Huge gift to Dem efforts to hold Senate control in #2014.”

(VIDEO: Ted Cruz Humorously Deals With Speech)

Intra-party GOP politics is aiding the effort, as support for Cruz and his tactics has become a litmus test in more than one Republican primary. Unlike Democrats who have quickly coalesced behind candidates, across the competitive states nearly every Republican race features a primary, with candidates from across the ideological spectrum. Not even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is facing a challenge from Republican businessman Matt Bevin, is immune.

“Where was Mitch McConnell while Ted Cruz was standing and fighting?” Bevin asked in a blog post blasting the minority leader on the conservative website RedState. “Well, he was sleeping. Literally. And when he wasn’t sleeping, he was whipping his fellow Republicans to vote against Sen. Cruz’s effort.”

Cruz, who is considering a 2016 presidential run and will undoubtedly benefit in a presidential primary from his ultra-conservative positions, laughed off the suggestion that he has hurt the Republican Party’s political fortunes. “Not remotely,” said with a chuckle Sunday on CNN State of the Union. “The fact that you’re seeing those attacks I think is indicative of the fact that we’re winning the argument.”

Republican strategists, meanwhile, hope their traditional advantage on fiscal issues to hold in 2014 despite the current crises. “Thirteen months is a long time in politics,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brad Dayspring. “And I don’t know of a single case in history where pointing to another Senator or candidate has proven effective for a candidate,” he added.

(MORE: How Ted Cruz Wins By Losing)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee first identified Cruz as a convenient bludgeon against Republican candidates nine months ago when they coined the now-ubiquitous term “Cruz control” to describe his increasing rightward influence over congressional Republicans.

“Every Republican candidate has in some capacity sworn their allegiance to Ted Cruz,” said DSCC deputy executive director Matt Canter. In particular, Democrats believe Cruz and the shutdown have kept races in red states Montana and West Virginia competitive, with outsider Democrats running against GOP members of Congress.

Cruz is already being seen as a liability by some Republicans. Conservative Ken Cuccinelli, who is trailing in the race to be the next governor of Virginia, worked to distance himself from Cruz over the weekend as they spoke at the same fundraiser. Democrats spent the week blasting Cuccinelli for associating himself with the controversial Republican with press releases, speeches, and radio ads.

At the event, CNN reported that a Cuccinelli aide told reporters that their candidate urged Cruz to find a solution to the shutdown, and Cuccinelli didn’t mention Cruz once in his remarks. The reason is clear: according to a POLITICO poll, Cruz is viewed unfavorably by 45 percent of Virginia voters while just 26 percent view him favorably.

MORE: Shutdown Highlights Basic Fact: Most of Government is ‘Non-Essential’

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referenced Canter as communications director of the DSCC. He is in fact the deputy executive director.

86 comments
justassmarty
justassmarty

Republicans Biggest 2014 Weapon: ACA and people losing insurance and i am  speaking from personal experience and after 3 operations i have been very happy with my insurance but now i  will have to pay over twice as much and  3 times the deductible. I can not afford nearly half of my monthly income to pay for my insurance premium and you will be getting a similar letter soon if you have insurance

JohnHaskins
JohnHaskins

The End has come by the hand of their Saviour and religious devoult Terrorist Mr. Cruz Missile Himself Teaklanster.

When the Republicans realized they had shut down the government they CHEERED on the floor! Members of the Press (almost to a man/women) described their apparent "elation" and the word "giddy" was the most heard and reported attribute assigned these cognitively-challenged and spiritually bankrupt children.

The repeal of the ACA is nothing more then a "pretense"! Their intent all along (and even when running for office) was to shut our government down and even to go so far as to default on our nation's obligations. These people are still fighting the War of Northern Aggression and hate (let me repeat that) hate on some level this country and this Union. They will do more damage to our people, our economy and our way of life then any outside terrorist group could ever dream of achieving!

These so called Republicans are an erratic coalition of coded-racists, “conspicuous hypocrites”, Confederate sympathizers, Seditionist, Secessionists, those who would impose theocracy, anti-intellectuals, science-deniers, Homophobes, Sexists, Xenophobes, Absolutists and those ever overtly vocal professing Christians who act anything but (using the tenants of their faith selectively, narrowly, without context and then doing so as a weapon to bludgeon to near-death the poor, the sick, women, working people, non-whites and the non-believer)! They are even capable of booing an American soldier serving in a theater-of-war!

Having all the attributes of low-functioning sociopaths... to a man/women they discharge with abandon platitudes like Freedom, America, Family, Patriot, and Values and do so with a projectile speed and indiscriminate-dispersal (while having no thought, genuine feeling-invested or understanding of the sacrosanct concepts in question)!

For them the medium in which they swim is Hate Radio, paranoia and conspiracy (and the more fantastic... the more readily transmitted... as though a horrible contagion). These are Reactionaries who rather then being for a someone or something are for reasons of raw unflinching pathological self-interest against everyone... "not them". They live in a world free-of-facts, where history is to be revised (accordingly) and the only voices they hear are their own self-reinforcing feverish rants!

This necrotizing-vestige and fading shadow of what was formerly the establishment Party of Reagan have now made of what was once the call and privilege of Public Service nothing more then a "reductive pursuit" and one intent on serving ever narrowing-interests and the illusion of purity. Never to be sullied by the hard work-of-governance or a need to actually have the capacity of compassion... these craven, puerile, destructive, intellectually-lazy, full-on nihilist “Place Holders” see both compromise and reasonable accommodation as the failings of capitulation and strive only to circumvent good-order, to-impede, slow and if allowed flat-line the progress of the nation.

They reject the very structures of our democracy, its intended healthy-tension, civility, discourse, debate and unity-of-purposes (no loyal opposition here). They brandish mini-constitutions like fetishes and all the while working to undo all that this guiding living-document has allowed us to achieve and the very society which has raised up around it (yes... they will save us by maiming, crippling and killing us)! For them their moral-universe extends no further then their petty concerns will take them... and even to a place where the theft of power by extortion is just another day's work!

If they cannot re-litigate a law “already” duly and democratically passed and invalidate the consensus of an election “already” held... they will in affect strap on a Weapon of Mass Economic Destruction... stand in our collective Public Square and detonate! By not relenting to their onerous terms they likewise threaten our irrevocable demise and unknowingly or knowingly their own murder-suicide (every Republican in the House, the Tea Party and the Leadership will without question be held to account as accessories to this historic crime, this self-inflicted Pearl Harbor and even acts of treason)!

Their world is ever shrinking and circumscribed... they would make of a great nation a lesser thing! Their path is a descent downward in allegiance - to region (only), then state, then county, then city, then town, then fiefdom and finally to barricade the gates of their mind and then the door! They are the enemy within! They are the dry rot in the floorboards of our civilization! They are the cancer metastasizing through the body-politic! They are collectively a dangerous unknowing child with a gun now found and they will wound us all terribly!

bernardenoch66
bernardenoch66

as they should THEY GOP SHOULD BE TIED TO THE TEA PARTY BECAUSE THE REPUBLICANS HAVE BECOME NOTHING BUT TED CRZ AND RAND PAULS BITCHES . 

Lar5
Lar5

Cruz is in his mission control center trying desperately to change the course of his missile which is hurtling down on top of the Tea Party and other republicans. The Cat In The Hat is being of no help!

raygillies550
raygillies550

Tom Cruz should also be painted as the face of the Tea Party

PeterHeron
PeterHeron

Mario Rubio snuggles up to Ted Cruz out of fear that rejection by the extremist right-wing Tea Party won't let him play in Presidential politics.  That's like Eisenhower cuddling up to Joe McCarthy (not to equate Rubio with Ike).  Cruz is poison, and if he wants to take over the GOP the way Perry and Bachmann and what's-his-name did, fine.  They get what they deserve.  Rubio lies down with fleas, he scratches like a flea-infested dog.  Republicans have become the party of traitors and blackmailers, with no policies:  no policies on immigration, on health reform, on education, on jobs, on infrastructure.  Nothing.  All they stand for is less taxes for the rich, big greats for big corporations, and regulation of their Wall Street chums (who have turned against him).  GOP RIP.

JannKraus
JannKraus

I am a registered Republicans from years ago.  This I regret.  Ted Cruz has caused me to decide that for the rest of my life, I will NEVER vote for any Republican.  The Tea Party is Republicans on steroids.  I deeply dislike them, each and every one.    I will most likely not vote for a Democrat either.  Independent is the only way to go.  We need term limits on all representatives.  Short terms!    When over 90% of the citizens want some form of gun control, and our representatives ignore us - face it...we have NO representation.  We should send them all home!  The only way we can get out of the mess our country is in is with the help of God!   


 

firecracker1964
firecracker1964

I think I have a solution. Since no matter what we do we are demonized and blamed I say we give up on one condition: We will agree to vote to raise the debt ceiling and everything else indefinitely forever. Now we are the good guys. MY one condition would be that in the event of our nation going bankrupt and collapsing ALL WEALTH OF ALL DEMOCRATS WHO HAVE SUPPORTED THIS PRESIDENT WILL BE CONFISCATED AND USED TO REBUILD OUR ECONOMY. This includes Pelosi, the President, Steve Job's estate, my liberal family members, everyone. This must be signed and agreed to by congress. Sound far fetched? The US government confiscated all the privately held gold to do that in 1933. Problem solved. I want all these people to put their money where their mouth is instead of MY money where their mouth is. Don't worry Nancy, we will still let you keep the standard of living you expect the rest of us to have.

lebelly23
lebelly23

Great idea! I hope the crush this &%#hole. He is actually dangerous to the future stability of the American government. I say oust ALL Tea Party nihilists. He is NOT the voice of me and MY fellow Americans. You can just look in his eyes and see he is all for himself, and getting attention. Scumbag politician all the day long.

MrTemecula
MrTemecula

Morphing ads are awesome. I'm going to look forward to seeing ads of sane conservative candidates and moderate Republicans morphing into Ted Cruz. Should be very effective if the Republicans crash the economy because they allowed the American economy to go over the cliff by following the tea party.

scrubs
scrubs

i  wonder if cruz has 666 on his head?

sfbgdgfsagf
sfbgdgfsagf

keep going ted your the voice of me and my fellow americans

ABulletForCinde
ABulletForCinde

Ted Cruz never strikes me as an extremist but a buffoon - a clown and a comedian - like Limbaugh and Gingrich.  He's annoying but he's just that, and no should take him seriously or as a serious intellectual.

aztecian
aztecian

ted kkkruz is the heart of the republikkkans.  obama needs to charge him with treason and give him life.  they're doing this to the right wing thugs in greece....time to do it here.

reallife
reallife

Keep going Ted Cruz, keep going... we are all with you

I can smell the fear coming from these pages

LOL

fore
fore

christian hypocrisy : jesus and bible all about helping the poor and the sick. Repubiclans  are about defunding food stamp program and defunding obamacare. Maybe there maybe a few moochers in the food stamp program but the republicans are still about funding tank upgrades that will never be used and planes that will never be used but this is the republican pork that they need and talk radio and fox news never attacks this fraud which is probably much greater than the food stamp program. As for obamacare, I guess evangelical republicans will have to do a lot of praying to get over there hypocritical position about greed and not helping the people jesus would have helped. What a strange world

leonvang
leonvang

two to describe Cruz: village idiot

DaiLee
DaiLee

Everybody should learn about Cruz's Christian beliefs and ideologies (by the way they are not Christian as Jesus intended, but as Cruz's egocentric brain demands).  He attacked Harvard like a Dog AFTER he graduated and now he attacked his own party.

HE could have had conversations with GOP colleagues before going on the attack, but that would have not make him the center of attention.

romanolmedo134
romanolmedo134

Dear American friends, since its foundation the USA has always had a debt to GNP. The USA has never, in its life as a Republic, been debt free to GNP. The only motive for the shutdown is that the Obama presidency dared to face the hegemony of the insurer leeches. I repeat it, little by little and supported by the already undemocratic GOP and TEA PARTY SINKY TAIL,  a totalitarian system is been implanted.

jmac
jmac

Trail Blazer Blog (Wayne Slater)  Do Ted Cruz and his Republican supporters not only have their own opinion but also their own facts? Would a default actually stabilize the markets? Is the UN taking over our golf courses?  Does everybody in Texas actually have health care? To paraphrase George W. Bush, when nothing is true, everything is true.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

And yet the American Taliban loves Cruz

Religious Right Leaders Hail Ted Cruz As A Modern Day George Washington

Ted Cruz is quickly becoming a Religious Right hero, and will of course be a leading speaker at the upcoming Values Voter Summit.

Yesterday on Washington Watch, Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins commended Cruz and his allies for instigating the government shutdown: “I think they are acting heroic, I think they are heroes. They are along the lines of the patriots who founded this nation, they are standing up to the liberal press and to the naysayers and to the RINOs and saying, ‘No we’re not going along with it any longer, we’re going to try and use what ability we have to save this country.’”

As the shutdown loomed, David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network hailed Cruz as a leader in the vein of George Washington (or Tom Cruise), because of his fight to defund Obamacare: “All of this feels like Mission Impossible but didn’t George Washington and a few of his Founding Fathers colleagues face incredibly challenging odds too? This has been done before. Nobody said it would be easy. Look at it this way: At least principled constitutional conservative Ted Cruz is leading the way instead of movie star Tom Cruise. Now that would definitely be Mission Impossible.”

Brody also praised Cruz and “Tea Party constitutional conservatives” for viewing the fight against Obamacare as a “political and moral principle worth dying for even if it means the temporary death of their political party, and for that they should be commended. Kind of reminds you of the great founding patriots of this country.”


Bryan Fischer, a longtime fan who likened the Texas Senator to the Prophet Elijah, yesterday called the GOP dogmatists “Teddie and the Cruzers,” telling listeners that “you cannot overestimate the role of Ted Cruz, it shows you how one man with courage can make a huge difference in one happens politically.”

- See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/religious-right-leaders-hail-ted-cruz-modern-day-george-washington#sthash.6JeeXaK8.dpuf

ThomasHall
ThomasHall

The GOP created the Ted Cruz baggy extremists with their massive outside rich conservative support as the baggies would have faded away relying on mere grassroots support. recall the baggies initially rose in protest to GW Bush's initial bailout of the auto industry and banks. Note had the GOP and the baggies gotten their way we would be in another GOP-Hoover Great Depression when Wall St, bankster fraud took down the economy and left us with 24% unemployment when the GOP response to the economic calamity was to DO NOTHING, sound familiar?

The baggies were given a big boost by the activist, partisan GOP SCOTUS who allowed their Citizens United decision to corrupt democracy and to flood campaigns with unlimited, usually anonymous, campaign funding by the rich that came just in time to allow the GOP and their baggy spawn to make big gains in the states and to regain the House in 2010 where they effectively shut down Congress and have acted as political terrorists and anarchists since not interested in passing bipartisan bills or compromising. It has since gotten worse because the GOP abused their power in the states to bully through massive elections-rigging gerrymandering legislation that created secure GOP districts where baggy extremists do not have to play nice with even their establishment GOP and like now can dominate their political agenda with a minority of mostly freshmen members like Cruz, Paul, and other poorly-qualified legislators that are not informed about economics, how the country or even Congress works and who hate government and they have wanted to shut it down all along and many still think defaulting on the debt is no big deal.

Their selfish, narrow-minded, extortionist tactics cost Americans trillion in 2011 when they frightened investors and the DOW dropped 2,500 points, and another $19 billion in increased interest on the National Debt because the US credit rating was downgraded because of their dysfunction. As America nears a default, watch the DOW once again plunge and even the real possibility of an actual default that will wreck the economy and raise interest rates. The GOP have caused most of the problems that America and working class Americans face today from crippling National Debt, less than $800 billion through Cater, the imbalance of wealth shifted to the wealthy, the wrecked deregulated Wall St. banks, the incoming bills and ongoing deficits, and killed and wounded most of the US-Coalition soldiers since Vietnam while saddling America with 20+ years of unpaid-for wars based upon lies, arrogance, incompetence, and war profiteering greed..

Sparrow55
Sparrow55

Moderate Republican operatives believe that Cruz will damage their brand with those independent voters, costing them a shot a retaking the Senate that just months ago seemed to be well within reach.

The Republicans were damaging their brand long before most people knew who Ted Cruz was.  He's just speeding up the process of the party's self destruction.  



swagger
swagger

i don't understand how rejecting the right wing extremists hurts the republicans when they will all vote as a bloc for whoever they choose to run for president in 2016.  will the extremists just stay home and not vote?  wouldn't a repudiation of extremists attract more independents?  not that i want to give them any advice that they would ignore because they seem to suffer mental disorders.  i want to see them go down like the hindenburg in fact.

allthingsinaname
allthingsinaname

Ted Cruz is good for Ted Cruz thus he is bad for everyone, that should be the end of the story.

Cyssi
Cyssi

I have long suspected that Teddy Cruz is a secret Democrat working from the inside to implode the Republican Party and he's doing a damn fine job of it.

j45ashton
j45ashton

The GOP depends on a lot of older white voters in many areas.  If the debt limit isn't increased, these people won't get their social security checks.  Nov 2014 won't come soon enough for them.

JohnHaskins
JohnHaskins

@JannKraus I once read that God said I destroyed this world once and promised my creation I will never do it again and if this world shall end it will be by man this time around so idf you want to survive, get rid of the likes of every TED CRUZES......

JohnHaskins
JohnHaskins

@firecracker1964 I think your logic is a little twisted as just the other day it is reported that there will be ten trillionaires and all of them are republicans so by that math if you bunch all the democrat together they will not equal in wealth just one of the trillionaires so I say stop the ten republicans from obtaining that status and confiscate that wealth and put all the 15 million people ( Americans ) back to work and raise the minimum wage to $25.00 per hour and you would eliminate the very poor and poor class and have a stable economy with all back to work but the truth is reality as that is what Mr. Obama is trying to achieve and you see were that is going trying to equal the playing field and narrow or eliminate the economic gap between the elitist few who have it all and the rest depending on listening to the stories of the American dream

lebelly23
lebelly23

@sfbgdgfsagf If you still believe in this guy, I question your intelligence, Where are you getting your information? Fox News? Listen to NPR for once. This guy is not for you or me. He is all for himself and his politic career. If you care about this country, pray for an end to his political career. Hopefully moderate heads will prevail. He is an extremist, and yes, a clown as a lot of these posters claim. 


MrTemecula
MrTemecula

@ABulletForCinde For the majority of Americans, Ted Cruz is a clown. But for the dominant wing of the Republicans Party, he is to be feared and followed to their doom. Unfortunately, America's fate cannot be separated from this runaway train. For better or worse, our founders developed a system of government where compromise is essential in order for the country to function. The current system is foundering because one faction of one of the parties has refused to govern and we have a paralyzed system that, in fact, is inline with their ideology. 

russej
russej

Wow.  It would be great if more people understood this.  Especially the low information folks.  Only three presidents in the past 35 years have left office with a higher debt to GDP ratio than when they took office:  Reagan, Bush Sr, and Dub. 

MrTemecula
MrTemecula

@romanolmedo134 So true. America has used debt to send a man to the moon, explore space beyond our galaxy, build a modern highway system, the internet, win WW II, the Cold War, raised millions out of poverty, and on and on since the 1930's.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@jmac"To paraphrase George W. Bush, when nothing is true, everything is true."

Well that's one thing he got right...as he set about furthering a Beltway political press where nothing was true.

soren1947
soren1947

@RockyTenor Ted Cruz is not even a citizen he is a Canadian/Cuban communist who needs to be taken out

leonvang
leonvang

@RockyTenor - your hero and idol Ronnie Raygun passed a health care law  that is pure communism -EMTALA or reagancare. It is the reason a paper cup for your medicine is $5.00  on your bill and $1,50 for one aspirin. Illegals can go to the Er anytime for free and sometimes stay for years. And Bushcare is also communism with billions from the taxpayers for health care clinics and free drugs with no funding source other than tax payers for the elderly to get him reelected. Nobody among  the GOP ass clowns in the House shutt down anything over those - bu  the Black man from Kenya wants everyone to get their own insurance and cuts businesses profitting off the sick and elderly  and the ass clowns cry SOCIAlist!

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@RockyTenor"...41% of children are now born out of wedlock."

I'm not sure what's "immoral" about that but I'm quite sure that taking food out of their mouths is the very definition of immorality.


mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@RockyTenor Immoral like soliciting men in Airport restrooms or propositioning male pages? Remind us which party those politicians belonged to?

allthingsinaname
allthingsinaname

@Sparrow55  

Yes in fact they are the ones who encouraged those Cruz types, used them to motivate the base, and now they have the tail wagging the dog. Talk about reaping what you sow.

Sparrow55
Sparrow55

@swagger After nominating and supporting "moderate" candidates who lost the last two elections, the GOP extremists are going to force a "true conservative" on the party in 2016.  In their twisted minds, the GOP lost the last two elections because their candidates weren't conservative enough.  The extremists will get their dream candidate, but independents and moderate Republicans will be scared away.  The end result will be the GOP crashing and burning.     

jsfox
jsfox

@ViableOp His healthcare needs are covered by platinum health insurance provided by Goldman Sachs

reallife
reallife

Spoken like a typical "caring" liberal

barneydidit
barneydidit

@allthingsinaname @RockyTenor So Democrats created an immoral society? This is from the party that had both Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich at the head of the primary election pack at various times during 2012?  Too funny.