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

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February 14th, 2014
05:57 PM ET

Analysis: Cruz doubles down

(CNN) – Republican Senator Ted Cruz is from Texas, but he may not be used to the kind of heat he's been getting from his GOP colleagues over forcing a cloture vote to raise the debt ceiling.

Senator John McCain tweeted a Wall Street Journal editorial calling Cruz "the minority maker," calling it a "must read." The piece criticized Cruz, and called the vote "needless drama" for the party.

But Cruz has no regrets.

"An awful lot of Republicans wanted exactly what Barack Obama wanted, exactly what Nancy Pelosi wanted, exactly what Harry Reid wanted, which is to raise the debt ceiling. But, they wanted to be able to tell what they view as their foolish gullible constituents back home they didn't do it, and they're mad because by refusing to consent to that, they had to come out in the open and admit what they're doing, and nothing upsets them more," Cruz said in a radio interview.

"He does have a point, but the question is whether he has a strategy to make his points effective," said chief correspondent at The Washington Post Dan Balz.

"The Republican party has staked its positions significantly in opposition to the president. There's no question about that," said Balz.

BUt there are also "practical realities" about what can be accomplished through Congress to try to stop Obama's policies.

"That's where Senator Cruz and his parties have parted company," said Balz.

For more of our interview with The Washington Post's Dan Balz, check out the video above.

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