Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took heat from his Republican colleagues Wednesday in a closed-door meeting to discuss the government shutdown, Politico reported.
At the meeting that was hosted by the Senate’s conservative Steering Committee, one GOP senator after another pressed Cruz to offer a proposal to end the shutdown, according to Politico. The junior senator from Texas reportedly had no solution nor could he explain how he would defund the Affordable Care Act – an effort led by Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) that served as the impetus for the current shutdown.
“It was very evident to everyone in the room that Cruz doesn’t have a strategy – he never had a strategy, and could never answer a question about what the end-game was,” an unnamed senator told Politico. “I just wish the 35 House members that have bought the snake oil that was sold could witness what was witnessed today at lunch."
At one point in the meeting, Republicans pressed Cruz to tell them what he would have done had the party united behind his call to filibuster a House-passed continuing resolution to keep the defunding hopes alives. Only 19 Republicans backed Cruz's attempt to block the bill.
“He kept trying to change the subject because he never could answer the question,” the anonymous senator said. “It’s pretty evident it’s never been about a strategy – it’s been about him. That’s unfortunate. I think he’s done our country a major disservice. I think he’s done Republicans a major disservice."
The meeting turned quite heated when Cruz was asked if he would renounce the attacks lobbed at Republicans by the Senate Conservatives Fund, a powerful organization that targets moderates in the party.
"I will not," Cruz reportedly said.
The Senate Conservatives Fund has marched in lockstep with Cruz on the defunding campaign, even expanding its scope to target House Republican incumbents.
I hear rumblings from some corners that this shutdown stunt is the beginning of the end for the Tea Party conservatives. I'm not that optimistic, but it really does look like their brand is hurting.