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Friday
Oct182013

Ted Cruz Not Looking for '99 New Friends' in the Senate

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, doesn’t have many friends in Washington these days and he says he doesn’t need them.

“There’s an old saying that, ‘Politics, it ain’t beanbag.’  And, you know, I’m not serving in office because I desperately needed 99 new friends in the U.S. Senate,” Cruz told ABC News’ Jon Karl in his first on-camera interview after the shutdown came to an end Wednesday night.

Cruz has borne the brunt of the blame from Democrats and Republicans for spearheading a strategy of tying government funding to an effort to defund President Obama’s health care law, which many Republicans believed from the outset would not work.  He was reportedly challenged by angry Republicans in private meetings on the Hill over the strategy.

Cruz, 42, has amped up his own rhetoric against Senate Republicans, accusing them of “bombing our own troops” in a radio interview Wednesday.

And he made it clear that he thinks his Republican colleagues in the Senate are responsible for sabotaging his effort to tie funding for the government to an effort to defund or delay the health care law.

“I will say that the reason this deal, the lousy deal was reached last night, is because, unfortunately, Senate Republicans made the choice not to support House Republicans,” Cruz told ABC News.  “I wish Senate Republicans had united, I tried to do everything I could to urge Senate Republicans to come together and stand with House Republicans.”

Although a controversial super PAC that Cruz supports, Senate Conservatives Fund, has specifically attacked Republicans like Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who helped broker a deal with Democrats that ended the shutdown, Cruz declined to name specific Republicans whom he blamed for undermining the House GOP strategy.

“I think it was unfortunate that you saw multiple members of the Senate Republicans going on television attacking House conservatives, attacking the effort to defund Obamacare, saying, ‘It cannot win, It’s a fools error and we will lose, this must fail,’” Cruz said.

“That is a recipe for losing the fight, and it’s a shame,” he added.

ABC News’ full interview with Cruz will air Sunday on This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio