Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) responded to critics of his 21-hour floor speech against Obamacare on Thursday, calling his Republican colleagues “scared” of taking the fall for a government shutdown.
In Cruz’s first television interview since the marathon speech, Fox News host Sean Hannity asked the senator to address Sen. Bob Corker’s (R-TN) accusation that he put on a “show” at the expense of sending legislation back to the House in time to avert a government shutdown.
“I don’t want to speculate about Bob Corker’s motivations in coming to the floor, supporting Harry Reid and attacking Mike Lee, which is what he did this afternoon,” the Texas Republican said. “Let me say this generally. A lot of Republicans, they’ve been here a long time. They are beaten down. They’re scared that if we stand together on this and if a government shutdown results, that Republicans will be blamed and it’s too politically risky.”
Cruz then accused Republicans of trying to save themselves from blame for a shutdown by voting yes for cloture on a continuing resolution, then spinning that as a vote against the health care law.
“You know, some of those Republicans are telling their constituents they are going to vote for cloture,” Cruz said. “They are going to vote for giving Harry Reid the power to fund Obamacare, but they’re trying to convince their constituents that that’s a vote against Obamacare. It just isn’t.”