Ted Cruz Just Admits Outright that Blocking Immigration Reform in 2014 Is About Helping GOP

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has railed against immigration reform all year, becoming one of the most vocal opponents of the legislation that passed the Senate in June. In arguing against the bill, Cruz charges regularly that proponents of reform are merely playing politics. “It is designed for it to sail through the Senate and then crash in the House to let the president go and campaign in 2014 on this issue,” he said.


In an interview that aired earlier this month, Cruz admitted that he is the one using the livelihood of millions of undocumented immigrants for partisan gain.

Speaking with Houston-based radio host Michael Berry, Cruz said he hopes that Speaker John Boehner will not take on immigration reform next year. Doing so, Cruz argued, would diminish the “incredible opportunity to retake the Senate in 2014.” Cruz emphasized that he is focused on winning the Senate majority from Democrats, and said passing immigration reform legislation would be the “number one thing Republicans could do to mess that up.”

Cruz also said comprehensive immigration would amount to “kicking millions of Americans in the teeth.” During the chat, the freshman senator did not offer any concrete policy solutions, noting only that those seeking to pass legislation “refuse to stand for principle.” The Senate version of the bill includes a pathway to citizenship of over 13 years, with many barriers andfines, along with over $50 billion of increased border security.

Transcript below:

MICHAEL BERRY: Amnesty, illegal immigration, an immigration reform plan. We’re hearing that Boehner has punted that until after the Republican primary to save the squish Republicans from Tea Party challenges. True?

TED CRUZ: You know, I don’t know. I certainly hope the reports that you and I are both reading are not true. You know I think we’ve got an incredible opportunity to retake the Senate in 2014, to retire Harry Reid as Majority Leader. And the number one thing Republicans could do to mess that up is to refuse to stand for principle. And if the House turns around and passes a giant amnesty deal that doesn’t secure the border and grants amnesty, they might as well go and put “Harry Reid for Majority Leader” bumper stickers on the backs of their cars because it would be kicking conservatives, kicking the Tea Party, kicking millions of Americans in the teeth to make that same mistake again, so I sure hope they don’t do it.

BERRY: I think you’re right.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.