Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush disagree on approach to Obamacare

October 20, 2013
Former governor Jeb Bush (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
Former governor Jeb Bush (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) on Sunday defended his brinksmanship with the government shutdown and debt limit while doubling down on his opposition to President Obama's health-care law, saying during an interview on ABC's "This Week" that he will "do anything I can to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare."

Later in the show, former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R) criticized Cruz's comments and the way some conservative Republicans handled the recent standoff in Congress, saying "there was some ground lost from a political point of view."

Bush, a potential GOP presidential candidate for the 2016 election, suggested the president's health-care law would fail on its own without Republicans using the debt limit and a government shutdown as leverage to end or delay it.

"It might actually be politically a better approach to see the massive dysfunction, but we don’t even hear about that, because we’ve stepped on that message," Bush said. "Republicans just need to take a step back and show self-restraint and let this happen a little more organically."

Cruz blamed members of his own party for the GOP failure to win concessions on the health law during the shutdown and debt ceiling talks. He suggested the party should have had a united message.

"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 can not win, it's a fool's errand, we will lose, this must fail," Cruz said. "That is a recipe for losing the fight, and it's a shame."

Josh Hicks covers the federal government and anchors the Federal Eye blog. He reported for newspapers in the Detroit and Seattle suburbs before joining the Post as a contributor to Glenn Kessler’s Fact Checker blog in 2011.
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Josh Hicks | October 20, 2013