POLL: Ted Cruz Is Worse Than Gonorrhea


POLITICO: Ted Cruz is waiting to decide whether to hold up a potential deal in the Senate that would reopen the government and avert a breach of the debt ceiling. With the debt limit deadline looming Thursday and quick Senate action needed to beat it, Cruz would not divulge whether he’d allow a quick vote on an emerging deal to reopen government and raise the debt ceiling. Bypassing Senate rules that would slow the voting process requires the consent of every member of the chamber, which will be critical this week to avoid a panic in the markets over potentially missing the debt ceiling deadline. “We need to see what the details are,” Cruz said when asked whether he’d move to delay a vote past Thursday. Cruz deflected more than half a dozen questions from reporters using the wait-and-see line. MORE

ROLL CALL: Sen. Ted Cruz met with roughly 15 to 20 House Republicans for around two hours late Monday night at the Capitol Hill watering hole Tortilla Coast. The group appeared to be talking strategy about how they should respond to a tentative Senate deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling without addressing Obamacare in a substantive way, according to sources who witnessed the gathering. The Texas Republican senator and many of the House Republicans in attendance had insisted on including amendments aimed at dismantling Obamacare in the continuing resolution that was intended to avert the current shutdown. Sources said the House Republicans meeting in the basement of Tortilla Coast with Cruz were some of the most conservative in the House: Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Steve King of Iowa, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Raúl R. Labrador of Idaho, Steve Southerland II of Florida, Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Justin Amash of Michigan. While the emerging deal to reopen the government and hike the debt ceiling increase may have been a hot topic, it was not immediately clear what the group actually discussed. But the fact that such a group met with Cruz at all could give House GOP leaders even more heartburn as they consider themselves what to do if the Senate passes the measure. The deal that is materializing in the Senate is one that Cruz and his House compatriots are unlikely to endorse. But it appears to be one that can pass both chambers with bipartisan support. MORE

RELATED: An NBC/WSJ poll released Thursday night found Republicans taking a drastic hit. Per Chuck Todd, both members of its bipartisan team of pollsters described the results as “jaw dropping.” HuffPost: “The Republican Party has been ‘badly damaged’ by the government shutdown, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Thursday evening, which finds public opinion souring on the GOP and some of its core positions. Americans blamed Republicans over President Barack Obama for the shutdown by a margin of 22 percentage points, with 53 percent saying the GOP deserved more blame, and 31 percent saying Obama did….Voters were 8 points more likely to say they’d prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress over a Republican-controlled Congress, a 5-point shift toward the Democrats since last month. Support for the new health care law, the touchstone of the government shutdown, rose a net 8 points from September, while the belief that government should do more to solve problems was up 8 points from June.” MORE