Sen. Ted Cruz is apparently quite unpopular with his fellow Senate Republicans, who think he has been grandstanding and leading the party in a dangerous direction by putting all the focus on the government shutdown and not, ironically, on Obamacare.
And on Wednesday at a private luncheon, several Senate Republicans — Dan Coats of Indiana, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire — assailed Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who has led the movement to block funding for the health law.
Ms. Ayotte was especially furious, according to two people present, and waved a printout from a conservative group friendly to Mr. Cruz attacking 25 of his fellow Republican senators for supporting a procedural vote that the group counted as support of the health law.
Ms. Ayotte asked Mr. Cruz to disavow the group’s effort and demanded he explain his strategy. When he did not, several other senators — including Mr. Johnson, Mr. Coats and even Mitch McConnell, the minority leader — joined in the criticism of Mr. Cruz.
“It just started a lynch mob,” said a senator who was present.
Despite the uproar, Mr. Cruz did not offer a plan for how his party could prevail in the shutdown battle and suggested his colleagues were defeatists.
The Tea Party slogan should be: Purity Trumps Reality. Always and forever.