On Laura Ingraham’s Friday radio show, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Sean Duffy expressed his disdain for fellow Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz after he backed off his all-out charge against Obamacare.
Duffy indicated Cruz erred when he seemed to concede defeat before the House of Representatives voted to attach defunding of Obamacare to the continuing resolution passed on Friday.
“Ted Cruz, who talks to our conservative base — he talks to my conservative base and said, ‘Listen this is the strategy that can win,'” Duffy said. “We have given him the opportunity to help win that strategy. If the House didn’t vote to defund Obamacare, he would have never had the chance to play this out in the Senate. We have given him the chance. He said, ‘No way. I’m out and I want to stand on the sidelines, and I want to yell into the ring. But never do I want to get in the ring and fight.’ It wasn’t until House conservative read his statement and there was a unified pushback on Ted Cruz and other conservatives in the Senate that they actually started to walk back their position of surrender and say, ‘OK, now we’ll stand up and actually fight.”
He went on to urge his Senate Republican colleagues to use their leverage to continue the fight and force Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to negotiate on Obamacare.
“They’re not coming at this from a powerful position in the negotiation when they already cede failure,” Duffy continued. “They have to stand strong and say we’re going to fight with every dying breath and what I think could happen if they did that — they could get Harry Reid to the table and actually find a conservative solution that delays or stalls Obamacare that can actually work for House conservatives. They do have a lot of power with that 41-vote margin that they can get in the Senate.”
As far as what might happen if the Senate falters, Duffy wasn’t willing to speculate until he saw how things played out on the Senate side of Capitol Hill.
“I would tell you if Ted Cruz and his allies in the Senate fail and Harry Reid refunds Obamacare in the C.R. and he takes away the sequester cuts and sends a fully bloated spending package back to the House, we will have a conversation about what will me make. And there’s a number of things can do,” Duffy said. “We have to wait and see how the strategy works in the Senate first. But listen, I think all of us understand that Obamacare isn’t ready for primetime. I think the administration knows that. I think the employer mandate that has been delayed. We had the 1099 repeal that Obama has signed. We have the unions that are angry.”
“I’m from Wisconsin. We don’t know what’s going to happen with the exchanges,” he continued. “Listen, there could be a point here where we have Democrats in the Senate and the House that are willing to join us in this delay. And listen, I think Barack Obama might be grateful and go, ‘Listen, you guys are twisting my arm and putting me in a tough position, but OK. We’ll go with a year delay.’ So he can actually work on trying to make this bill work. Now I don’t think it’s going to work. But that gets us closer to the point where we take control of the Senate and have better strength and a full repeal.”
The Wisconsin Republican did take a parting shot at Cruz and others for being outspoken at the start of the fight, but are less aggressive now that the House has put the ball in the Senate’s court.
“It is a concern, and that’s why when these conservatives in the Senate were running ads, raising money and holding rallies about this great strategy and using House conservatives as pawns in that strategy, we were silent,” Duffy added. “We believe in this rule of Ronald Reagan where we don’t take shots at fellow Republicans. So we held our fire. We kept our powder dry. It’s just when it came to us agreeing with the strategy and Ted Cruz and other bailing on us, that it was a boiling point where that this is absolutely ridiculous. You can’t talk to the American people, you can’t talk to our bases on this strategy and then completely roll over. Thank God he wasn’t there fighting at the Alamo.”