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Ted Cruz: I Didn't Come to D.C. to Make Friends

"Politics, it ain’t beanbag."

Tea party conservatives Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, right, walk to a meeting as the Senate prepares to vote on a measure to avert a threatened Treasury default and reopen the government after a partial, 16-day shutdown, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. Credit: AP

Sen. Ted Cruz isn’t very popular right now on Capitol Hill -- and he says he doesn’t care.

“There’s an old saying that, ‘Politics, it ain’t beanbag.’ And, you know, I’m not serving in office because I desperately needed 99 new friends in the U.S. Senate,” the Texas Republican told ABC News in an interview set to air Sunday.

Cruz has taken a lot of criticism for his part in a failed attempt to defund Obamacare by tying it to a bill to keep the government funded. The gambit resulted in a 16-day partial shutdown of the government and ended with the GOP basically conceding defeat to the Democrats.

Many top Republicans said at the outset of the “defund” strategy that they didn’t think it would work -- and told that to Cruz in no uncertain terms.

Cruz, for his part, has responded by placing the blame for the failure of the “defund” strategy on his colleagues, going so far as to accuse certain Republicans of “bombing our own troops.”

In short, Cruz doesn’t believe the “defund” strategy was wrong; Senate Republicans were just unwilling to fight.

“I will say that the reason this deal, the lousy deal was reached last night, is because, unfortunately, Senate Republicans made the choice not to support House Republicans,” Cruz told ABC. “I wish Senate Republicans had united, I tried to do everything I could to urge Senate Republicans to come together and stand with House Republicans.”

The freshman senator hasn’t named which Republicans he blames specifically the “defund” failure.

“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 cannot win, It’s a fools error and we will lose, this must fail,’” Cruz said.

“That is a recipe for losing the fight, and it’s a shame," he said.

--

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

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