Reports emanating from a private luncheon of Senate Republicans indicate that New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte was one of a growing chorus increasingly angered by the tactics of Texas Senator Ted Cruz surrounding the government shutdown.
“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,” reads a report from The New York Times.
The Texas freshman garnered support from Tea Party groups for his 21-hour speech arguing in favor of tying defunding Obamacare to a continuing resolution to fund the government.
An increasing number of Republicans on Capitol Hill are criticizing Cruz, accusing him of lacking a realistic endgame and advancing potential 2016 presidential ambitions while leaving his colleagues to pay the political price for a government shutdown.
Some national conservative groups have assailed Republicans who sided against Cruz, citing procedural votes as supportive of Obamacare, despite the fact many of these members have opposed the law for years.
The Times piece particularly cited Ayotte as incensed by the course of Cruz’s actions:
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.