Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called President Barack Obama the biggest obstacle to immigration reform and refused to rule out filibustering the reform bill drafted by the Senate's bipartisan "gang of eight" when asked twice about his intentions on Monday.
"The biggest obstacle to passing common sense immigration reform is President Barack Obama," Cruz said in an interview with ABC News published Monday. "A path to citizenship is the most divisive aspect of this bill and the White House is insisting on it."
He said the White House had crafted the Senate immigration bill to fail so the president could campaign on it. "It is designed for it to sail through the Senate and then crash in the House to let the president go and campaign in 2014 on this issue," he said.
Cruz's comments come as groups on the right are divided over immigration reform. Heritage Action, the advocacy arm of The Heritage Foundation, urged a "no" vote on the bill and said that it would include it in its legislative scorecard. The Foundation came under intense criticism -- including from conservatives -- over its analysis stating that the bill would cost over $6 trillion. The co-author of the analysis, Jason Richwine, resigned after his Harvard dissertation came to light. In it he argued that Hispanic immigrants to the U.S. have substantially lower IQs than whites.
Crossroads GPS, a group co-founded by Karl Rove, announced $100,000 in print and online advertising on Monday that will promote immigration reform.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has scheduled a cloture vote on the immigration bill for Tuesday. Reid said that the full legislation should come to a vote before July 4.