Reid: Cruz acted with an eye on the White House

October 18, 2013
Sen. Ted Cruz (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)
Sen. Ted Cruz (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said in an interview set to air Sunday that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) did what he did during the government shutdown because he wants to run for president.

"In an effort to help him run for president, he has done some stuff that’s really damaging to our country," Reid told Univision, according to an advance transcript. "He’s been attempting to raise money. And who has he hurt? He has hurt average Americans. The government being shutdown for 14 or 15 days, that has been very hurtful to people. Not only the people that work for government, but the people who work around government."

Reid said that despite Cruz's intentions, this episode will reflect poorly on his tenure in the Senate.

"What he has done to our country will go down in the history books as one of the most negative approaches to trying to change America that we’ve ever seen," Reid said. "What he did was absolutely wrong."

Polls suggest that Cruz hurt himself with the broader American electorate, even as some in the tea party are holding him up as a hero. Even moderate Republicans appear to have been turned off.

Reid also said that if Republicans go down the same road again in future budget talks, they will imperil their House majority -- which is otherwise considered relatively safe -- in 2014.

"The American people will not put up with that" approach, Reid said. "And if this happens again -- I don’t think it will, but if it does -- I think the House of Representatives will go Democratic."

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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