Fox News has turned on their former tea party darling Ted Cruz, and is tearing apart his plan to defund Obamacare by threatening a government shutdown
WALLACE: Well, I’m confused. Are you going to block consideration of the bill? Basically, the first issue is, are you going to allow consideration of the bill? And you can filibuster that after — if you lose that, then a simple majority could take out ObamaCare. So, are you going to allow consideration of the bill, have an up-or-down vote on defunding ObamaCare, or are you going to block them from even taking a bill which you support?
CRUZ: Well, the first order of business is going to be to ask Harry Reid if he will agree to allow amendments to be subject to a 60- vote threshold. And that’s typical in the Senate. We have a lot of amendments that are subject to 60-vote threshold.
Now, in all likelihood, he’s going to say no because he wants to use brute political power to force ObamaCare funding through with just Democrats, exactly the same he passed the bill three years ago.
Now, if he does that even, then Senate Republicans have the tool that we always used when the majority leader is abusing his power, which is we can die cloture. We can filibuster and say we will not allow you to add the funding back for ObamaCare with just 51 votes and it takes —
WALLACE: Sir, if I may, you say this is brute political power. Other times, you said it’s a procedural gimmick. It’s Senate Rule 22, which has been around for years. It’s part of the Senate rules and it says after you end — you allow debate, after you take cloture, that you can pass an amendment by a simple majority. That’s the rule.
CRUZ: Chris, what’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander. You’re right, that is one rule. But there is another rule that says it takes 60 votes to get cloture. And that’s the reason the Senate, generally, on controversial votes, we work out an agreement for it to be subject to a 60 vote threshold because the majority — if the majority is going to run the minority over with a train, the minority has the ability to stop them.
Just to make sure that every Republican watching, got the message that Fox News isn’t supporting Cruz, Wallace followed up the interview with a round table where the piling on continued.
Amy Walter of The Cook Report said, “The person — the polls going back, really, since the beginning of this year when we asked about who do you think is compromising, who do you think is not compromising, Republicans are overwhelmingly seen as non-compromising, the president is seen as much more conciliatory. For what — that’s what the polls have been showing for a while, so it’s pretty clear in that sense. The other piece is that Republicans are starting off at a much lower point (ph) in terms of approval rating. The president’s approval rating is no great shape, but it’s much better than where the Republicans sit right now. But there is one thing I do want to bring up, it’s the fact that Republicans right now, it’s pretty clear, there is no strategy, there is no end game to where this goes. Obviously, you talked with Ted Cruz, made that point clear.”
Karl Rove joined in, “Well, because this was a strategy laid out by Mike Lee and Ted Cruz without any consultation by — with their colleagues. Mike Lee of Utah lays it out on July 9th without having ever brought it up at the Thursday meeting and the senators to say we’ve got an idea. I would suspect today, with all due respect to Mike, junior Senator from Texas, I suspect this is the first time that the endgame 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. And look, you cannot build a congressional majority in either party for any kind of action, unless you’re treating your colleagues with some or certain amount of respect and saying, hey, what do you think of my idea, and instead, they have dictated to their colleagues through the media, and through public statements, and not consulted them about this strategy at all.
I do want to (inaudible) one small thing that Senator Cruz said. He said, Republicans enjoy an advantage on health care in “The Wall Street Journal” poll this week. I wish it were true. The advantage in “The Wall Street Journal” poll was Americans favorite Democrats, trust Democrats more on health care, 37 to 29. Now, the bad news for the Democrats is, this is a historic low number for them. But Republicans don’t have an advantage on it, at the time of the 19 — the 2010 elections it was 42-32, so they had a ten point advantage now, they are — they’ve got an eight point advantage.”
If you want know how terrified Republicans are of a government shutdown, look at what Fox News did to Ted Cruz. Republicans want nothing to do with shutting down the government, because they know that it will be a political disaster for them. Fox News was trying to cut off the support for a government shutdown within the Republican base by filleting Cruz, and his idea.
This standoff among Republicans has put Fox News in the surreal position of opposing defunding Obamacare as a part of funding the government. Karl Rove was actually taking apart the myth that the Republican position on healthcare is popular.
Republicans who lack the support of Fox News tend to wither and die. The cheering section on Fox is an important to ambitious Republican like Cruz as oxygen. Without Fox News backing him, Cruz is a dead man walking. Should he continue down the defund Obamacare path, you can expect Fox News to aim the full wrath of their propaganda machine at the Texas Senator. Fox News is ready to throw Ted Cruz under the bus and run him over, if that is what it takes to avoid a government shutdown.
Democrats can only sit back and laugh at the delicious absurdity of Fox News scrambling to turn Ted Cruz into a man without a party.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association