Jeb Bush urges Cruz to show 'self-restraint'

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) said in an interview airing Sunday that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) needs to " have a little bit of self-restraint" if the Republican Party is to succeed in repealing ObamaCare. 

The brother of former President George W. Bush said on ABC's "This Week" that there was nothing gained by the government shutdown, and that Republicans had lost some ground "from the political point of view" in their fight to repeal the president's signature legislative achievement.

"Tactically, it was a mistake to focus on something that couldn't be achieved," Bush said, complaining that the controversy over the shutdown had "crowded out" how "dysfunctional" the implementation of ObamaCare had been.

"Frankly, I think the best way to repeal ObamaCare is to have an alternative; we never hear the alternative. We could do this in a much lower cost with improved quality based on our principles, free market principles, And two, show how ObamaCare, flawed to its core, doesn't work," Bush said.

Cruz has insisted that he will continue to fight the president's signature law, saying he believed that Americans were displeased with Congress not because of gridlock, but because many lawmakers had stopped fighting to prevent implementation of the healthcare reform law. In an interview airing earlier on CNN, Cruz also said he "profoundly" disagreed with "gray-beards in Washington" who said the GOP would benefit by allowing ObamaCare to collapse under its own weight.

“I consider that theory the ‘Bad Samaritan’ theory. Basically, inflict a bunch of harm on the American people and hope we benefit politically from it. What a terrible, cynical approach.," Cruz said. "I am not interested in seeing the American people suffer just because my party might benefit politically if they blame the Democrats for the foolish policies that have been imposed.”

But Bush said that, the Republican Party — and nation — would be better served by trying "to find common ground rather than use each instance of a possible crisis to win a political point."

The former Florida governor would not rule out a possible 2016 presidential run — which could put him into direct competition with Cruz, who also is thought to be eying the Oval Office.

But Bush acknowledged that he could be handicapped by the fact his brother and father had both served as president.

"Some guy told me that on the plane in — stuck on O'Hare Airport. He said he was supporting Obama. This was early in the primary and I go, 'Why?' And he goes, 'Well, we had a Bush, then we had a Clinton. Then we had a Bush. And now we're going to have a Clinton.' And then he looked at me and said, 'And then we're going to have a Bush.' So he had an interesting perspective. I think some people believe that. That won't be a motivating factor in my decision, though," Bush said.