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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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February 12th, 2014
05:24 PM ET

Cruz creates more drama for the GOP

(CNN) – Senator Ted Cruz vowed to fight again, and he came through on his promise Wednesday. The tea party-aligned Texas senator mounted a filibuster against a clean debt deal that Senate Democrats were prepared to pass, setting off more drama for the Republican party.

Cruz's filibuster meant the GOP "needed to find five Republicans to walk the plank," said CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger.

"He was forcing members of his own party to take a politically perilous vote to raise the debt ceiling, without commensurate spending cuts. And he forced members of his own party to do that, so they're not happy with him," said Borger.

"Today's vote is yet another example that establishment politicians from both parties are simply not listening to the American people. Outside the beltway, Americans of all political stripes understand that we cannot keep spending money we don't have," Cruz said in a statement.

The Texas senator's move forced Senators Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn, both of whom are in tough primary battles, to vote for raising the debt limit on the procedural vote. They were able to reverse their votes later.

Indeed, no Senate Republican actually voted to raise the debt ceiling, but instead voted to allow it to proceed.

For tea party Republicans running against McConnell and Cornyn, this "gives them ammunition," especially given the average voter does not know the difference between a cloture vote and a vote for a bill, says The Wall Street Journal's Carol Lee.

"There are too many members of Congress who think they can fool people and they will forget about it the next week. But sometimes, come November, the people remember," Cruz said.

"It puts them all in a very tough spot," says Lee.

"(Cruz) has made a lot of enemies today. And that's not going to serve him well in Washington in the next few months and years," said The New York Times' Peter Baker.

For more of our political roundtable, including discussion of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's lawsuit against President Barack Obama over NSA surveillance, watch the video above.

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