Ted Cruz: Republicans are misleading voters on debt limit

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at the annual Ronald Reagan Commemorative Dinner on, October 25, 2013 in Des Moines, Iowa. Steve Pope/Getty Images

Conservative Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, suggested on a radio show Thursday that the 12 Republican senators who voted to proceed with debate on the bill to extend the nation’s borrowing authority -- and thereby helping Democrats break Cruz’s filibuster -- misled their constituents about their true intentions.

“I recently had my staff print out a list of three pages of Republican senators — I might note all the people that are running around the press saying nasty things about me — saying ‘We will stand on the debt ceiling and fight for it,’” Cruz said on the Mark Levin show. “And then a few months later, it’s like they think the American people are just a bunch of rubes, that we don’t remember what they say.”

The bill passed in the Senate earlier this week after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and 11 other Republicans voted to break the filibuster -- and avoid the bruising fight over the debt limit that sunk the Republican Party’s public opinion ratings late last year. Once the bill was up for a final vote, every Republican voted against it. Cruz suggested that the final vote was less meaningful, only giving Republicans a chance to disingenuously say they didn’t approve of the bil.

“There were an awful lot of Republican senators who thought that was perfect because they could all vote ‘no’ and go home and tell their constituents ‘see, I voted no, I did the right thing,’” he said.

Had Cruz refrained from filibustering the bill, it still would have passed with only Democratic support. The Wall Street Journal wrote this week that Cruz created “needless drama that helps to explain why Republicans remain a minority.”

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. -- one of the 12 Republicans who voted to break the filibuster -- called the Journal’s editorial a “must-read.”

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