In an interview with conservative radio talk show host Dana Loesch on “The Dana Show” Monday, Cruz said Republicans in Washington have relaxed their fight the Affordable Care Act and view the GOP’s continuing stand against the law as an uphill battle.

“I think there is a powerful defeatist approach among Republicans in Washington,” Cruz said. “I think they’re beaten down and they’re convinced we can’t give a fight. And they’re terrified.

“This is our last chance to take out Obamacare,” Cruz continued. “And every one of those Republicans who says, ‘Let’s not fight on the continuing resolution,’ what they’re really saying is, ‘We should surrender to Obamacare being a permanent feature of our economy.'”

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Painting the GOP as unwilling to cooperate to solve problems is key to Democratic efforts to win back control of the House next year, Pelosi said. “I see a revival of bipartisanship, of people saying, ‘What is this thing that they are opposed to everything?’ This is not a manifestation of most Republicans in the country. This is an ideological wing.

“There’s really a heightened awareness (from voters) of Republicans’ obstructing, obstructing, obstructing everything that comes down the pike,” she said. “They see these extreme measures and they realize that this is different … this is an over-the-edge crowd that is unlike any other.”

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”It requires 60 votes in the United States Senate [to achieve repeal, and] 67 votes to override a presidential veto,” says Senator John McCain, who recently dubbed Cruz a “wacko bird.” When informed of Cruz’s remarks, McCain—who was imprisoned and tortured during the Vietnam War—pretended to yank a white flag from the breast pocket of his suit. “Yeah, I’m scared,” he cracked, a tight smile frozen on his face. “I surrender.”…

Revisionist history, Cruz argues. “The cocktail chatter wisdom in Washington that the shutdown was a disaster for Republicans is not borne out by the data,” he said, noting Republicans dropped only a handful of House seats in 1996 and gained two in the Senate, even as Bill Clinton romped to re-election. Nor was the actual shutdown “as calamitous as many paint it,” according to Cruz. “The world didn’t end. Planes didn’t fall out of the sky. Social Security checks didn’t stop. We didn’t default on our national debt,” he said. “What happened was nonessential government services were temporarily suspended. That happens every single week. On the weekend.”

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The Republican problem is not a lack of courage. McConnell has done his best to harass the Democratic majority and the president. While Speaker Boehner can’t simply wage guerrilla warfare, he, too, has sought to thwart the White House’s agenda. But without a unified leadership (something that is only possible when you have a president and even then it is not a given) and single agenda, there will always be room for dissidents to accuse those in charge of not being tough enough.

As for the government shutdown, I agree with all of those, like our Pete Wehner, who say the strategy is a loser. Going to the brink won’t stop ObamaCare and claiming that those who understand this are chickens is juvenile. But what Cruz and Rush are tapping into is the frustration of the party faithful who wonder why the party’s leaders can’t just say no to Obama and shut the monster they hate down. In the absence of a sign that Republicans share this frustration, they look to create artificial and generally meaningless distinctions between a largely imaginary establishment and a cadre of true believers…

Talk of Republicans surrendering to Obama is absurd. But instead of just getting mad at Cruz and fuming over Limbaugh’s statements, the Republican leaders need to be crafting a message to their own supporters that takes this frustration into account.

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“I will say he’s a terrorist,” Matthews added. “What he’s done is say, ‘my goal is demolition.’ Blow up health care. Blow up the continuing resolution. Bring the government to a standstill.”

Matthews was repudiated by former John McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt who said that it was irresponsible for him to call a sitting U.S. Senator a “terrorist.” Matthews demanded to know “why” that was inappropriate.

“I said political terrorist – that’s what he is,” Matthews insisted.

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Cruz could not have been clearer: He did not use “surrender caucus” to describe Republican opponents in the defunding debate. But go back just a few days, to July 25, when Cruz appeared on Sean Hannity’s radio program. In that interview, at about 8:00, Cruz lamented what he said was the tendency of some Republicans to avoid a fight on key issues.

“I am perpetually frustrated by what seems to be the surrender caucus in the Congress,” Cruz said, “the group that just want us to give in and who say, well, President Obama will never give in on his top priority. Well, why is it that he gets to hold his principles, and it’s assumed that we have to roll over, when the American people are with us?”…

After this post appeared, Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier called to say that Cruz has “never directly criticized one of his colleagues in that manner. He has deep respect for all of his colleagues in the Senate, regardless of their personal views, and when he was speaking earlier this morning, his point was that he has never used that term directly toward any of his colleagues — nor would he ever.”

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“You lose 100 percent of the battles that you begin by surrendering.”