Ted Cruz says Republicans are afraid—afraid of taking the blame for shutting down the government.
In his first televised interview since the 21-hour talk-a-thon, Cruz responded to criticisms from his Republican colleagues for going rogue.
“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,” he said on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program.
On Thursday afternoon, Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker took to the Senate floor to condemn Cruz for hurting the country and party during a debate on moving up the next vote on the funding bill. A unanimous vote would have been necessary to fast-forward the process, but Cruz and Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee objected saying they wanted the vote to occur Friday night, when they think more people will be watching.
"I'm understanding the reason we're waiting is that y'all have sent out releases and e-mails and you want everybody to be able to watch?” Corker said. “It just doesn't seem to me that that's in our nation's interest. Nor is it, candidly, in the interest of those who want to see good policy on the conservative side.”
He continued, criticizing Lee and Cruz saying they “sent out e-mails around the world and turned this into a show possibly, and, therefore, they want people around the world to watch maybe them and others on the Senate floor. And that is taking priority over getting legislation back to the House so they can take action before the country's government shuts down.”
Cruz responded to Corker’s assertions on Hannity.
"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," Cruz said, before concluding that the mainstream Republicans are just too scared.