Sen. Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidFree speech is a right, not a political weapon Overnight Tech: FCC eyes cybersecurity role | More trouble for spectrum auction | Google seeks 'conservative outreach' director Cures bill clears first Senate hurdle MORE (D-Nev.) says if Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzSenate GOP: National museum should include Clarence Thomas Senate GOP to Obama: Stop issuing new rules Week ahead: AT&T-Time Warner merger under scrutiny MORE (R-Texas) won the Republican nomination for president, it would destroy the GOP.
In an interview on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Wednesday night, Reid discussed fallout from the 16-day government shutdown, which ended two weeks ago. He said he’s sure the debacle will help Cruz raise more money.
“If I didn't care so much about our country, I would hope he will get the Republican nomination for president, because that would be the end of the Republican Party,” Reid said.
“Ted Cruz, he`s someone else.”
Lawmakers appointed to conference committees from both parties and both congressional chambers are now tasked with negotiating a longer-term deal on the budget and debt ceiling. Conferees have until Jan. 15 to compromise on funding the government, and Feb. 7 to do the same on the debt limit.
“The Republican Party is staggering right now,” Reid said when asked if lawmakers will wind up in the same gridlock next year. “I don`t know who they can expect to have a vote for them. I don't see it.”
He added, “They`re not going to do it again is what I`m saying.”
Republicans emerged from the shutdown facing polls showing they suffered the most. A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Wednesday evening said the GOP's favorability rating has dropped to 22 percent, an all-time record low.
These polls may weight heavily on Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), who's running in a tight race for reelection in 2014. Until now, he's vowed not to shut down the government again.
Cruz, on the other hand, has recently said he’s not ruling it out.
Cruz is a likely candidate for the Republican presidential race in 2016. He has already visited Iowa, the state that kicks off primary season, and will soon stop in South Carolina, another early voting state.