Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Tuesday that the ongoing battle over who will be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives was due to the GOP’s ‘disappointing’ performance in the 2022 midterm elections, as well as the ‘individualists’ that make up the Republican Party.
During a discussion on the ‘Verdict with Ted Cruz’ podcast, Cruz avoided saying what action he thought House Republicans should take as they seek to elect the new speaker, and instead lamented the party’s slim majority.
‘A big part of the reason this is playing out is because the election was disappointing,’ Cruz said. ‘The election — we did a lot less — Republicans did a lot less in the election than we should have. We should have a majority in the Senate. We should have a big majority in the House.’
‘If we’d come out of the election and it was a 30-35 vote majority in the House, I doubt this fight would be playing out. At that level, I think Kevin McCarthy would have had, pretty easily, the votes to be elected speaker. And if you win a big victory, that is typically the result,’ he said.
Cruz went on to say that although Democrats had a similar slim majority under former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, they would still ‘follow orders’ for the party leadership.
‘The Democrats are command-and-control. The Democrats are authoritarian, the Democrats follow orders. It’s a strength of theirs, and it’s a weakness of theirs,’ he said.
He added that ‘a strength and weakness’ for Republicans that also contributes to the fight was that the party’s members were ‘a bunch of individualists,’ and would hold out for their ideas with such a small majority.
McCarthy failed to gain the necessary 218 votes to become speaker in three consecutive votes Tuesday. The House will reconvene Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. ET to continue the process of electing a new speaker. Until a speaker is elected, the House is unable to conduct any other business.