Fox News anchor Chris Wallace said Sunday that top Republicans urged him to go after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), the latest indication that the junior senator from Texas has alienated members of his own party over his strategy to defund Obamacare and risk a government shutdown.
Cruz was a guest on “Fox News Sunday,” which Wallace hosts.
“This has been one of the strangest weeks I’ve ever had in Washington and I say that because as soon as we listed Ted Cruz as our featured guest this week, I got unsolicited research and questions, not from Democrats but from top Republicans, to hammer Cruz,” Wallace told his panel before asking GOP strategist Karl Rove why Republicans were upset with Cruz.
“Well, because this was a strategy laid out by Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz without any consultation with their colleagues,” Rove told Wallace.
In an op-ed last week The Wall Street Journal, Rove decried the defunding effort as “self-defeating” for the GOP.
He added, “With all due respect to my junior senator from Texas, I suspect this is the first time that the end game was described to any Republican senator. They had to tune in to listen to you to find out what Ted’s next step was in the strategy.”
Republicans on Capitol Hill did not hide their anger at Cruz last week. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) said Friday that Cruz “bullied” and “abused” House Republicans throughout his campaign to defund the health care law.
Republicans in the House on Friday passed a continuing resolution that provides funding to the government but defunds Obamacare, effectively punting the issue to the likes of Cruz and Lee.