Santorum: Cruz ‘Did More Harm’ Than Good During Shutdown Fight

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"Santorum: Cruz ‘Did More Harm’ Than Good During Shutdown Fight"

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during a town hall meeting hosted by Heritage

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during a town hall meeting hosted by Heritage

CREDIT: Brandon Wade/Getty Images

Former Pennsylvania senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum became the latest Republican to criticize Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) for his actions during the 16-day government shutdown, telling NBC’s Meet The Press that Cruz “did more harm” than good.

“I would say that in the end he did more harm,” Santorum said. “I think it was not his objective. I think his objective was a laudable one. I think he didn’t do a very good job in pointing it out. I mean, it’s one thing to have a goal and another thing to have a plan to get you to that goal, and he didn’t figure that out.”

Cruz has faced criticism from Republicans in and out of Congress, but he remains unfazed. “Who cares?” he said of the criticism during a speech in Texas last week.

Santorum is right: The Texas Senator’s crusade against funding the government unless President Obama’s health care law was defunded has unquestionably damaged the GOP. Just 32 percent of Americans approve of the Republican Party, according to a recent Washington Post poll, and Americans overwhelmingly laid the blame for the shutdown at the feet of Cruz and the GOP.

The harm Cruz did does not extend only to the GOPs image, though. As Cruz and other Republicans opposed raising the debt ceiling, the shutdown and the simultaneous threat of default cost the economy $24 billion, according to Standard & Poor’s, and at least 120,000 jobs, according to the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers. A similar fight in 2011 cost the country as many as a million jobs. And the GOP’s preferred spending cuts are crushing economic growth too. So when it comes to fully recovering from the recession and its aftermath, it isn’t just Ted Cruz causing problems. Republican policy priorities are causing more harm than good too.

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