By Justin Sink
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) "hurt average Americans" as part of a bid to raise his national stature and run for president.
"In an effort to help him run for president, he has done some stuff that’s really damaging to our country," Reid told Univision in an interview set to air Sunday.
The Nevada Democrat chastised Cruz for "attempting to raise money" off the government shutdown, which Reid noted was a financial stress on federal employees and their communities.
"He has hurt average Americans," Reid said. "The government being shutdown for 14 or 15 days, that has been very hurtful to people. Not only the people that work for government, but the people who work around government. They couldn’t buy clothes. They couldn’t buy gasoline. They couldn’t go to movies."
Reid went on to blast Cruz for a legislative approach that "will go down in the history books as one of the most negative approaches to trying to change America that we’ve ever seen."
"What he did was absolutely wrong," Reid said.
A poll released by Pew Research Wednesday showed that Cruz's favorability had soared among the Tea Party conservatives that have significant sway in Republican primaries, up from 47 percent in July to 74 percent today. But among non-Tea Party Republicans, just a quarter approve of the Texas senator.
Reid said he did not think Cruz would attempt the same type of obstructionism in February, when the government again approaches the debt ceiling.
"I believe the polls that show 18 Republicans, congregational districts, if the vote were today they would lose," Reid said. "So they, I hope they’ve learned their lesson. If they haven’t, they really aren’t thinking too well."