Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) hailed House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s startling defeat in the Virginia Republican primary as an example of voters making “D.C. listen loud and clear,” a reference to the theme of his 21-hour speech in favor of defunding Obamacare last October, before adding that he “look[s] forward to working with” nominee Dave Brat in Congress.
“Eric Cantor is a good man, but last night, voters in Virginia made D.C. listen loud and clear,” Cruz said of Cantor’s defeat. ”This election should be a reminder to all in Congress – Republicans and Democrats alike – that the conservative base is alive and well, and the American people will hold us all accountable. Each of us needs to do what we said we would do and tell the truth. Washington needs to listen to the people, stop spending money we don’t have, and stand up and defend the Constitution. I look forward to working with soon-to-be-elected Rep. Brat to help turn our nation around, to pull back from the fiscal and economic cliff we are facing, and to bring back jobs, growth, and freedom in America.”
Time’s Zeke Miller pointed out Tuesday evening that “Cruz and Cantor maintained a contentious relationship” following the shutdown fight. House Republicans, led by Cantor and Speaker John Boehner, only agreed to attempt to use the expiring continuing resolution to fund all of government except for Obamacare at the last minute, after weeks of pressure from Cruz and Senator Mike Lee (R., Utah).
Cruz’s comment about “doing what we said we would do” sounds like an allusion both to the idea that Cantor didn’t take a firm enough position on immigration, to the frustration of primary voters in the last week, and — more indirectly — a justification of his February decision to filibuster a debt limit increase rather than grant unanimous consent to let Democrats take up the bill, only to vote against it, as Republican Senate leaders wanted to do.