Chamber of Commerce sizing up Ted Cruz as it looks to hold House for GOP

Some pro-business Republicans, concerned about the 2014 midterms, say Sen. Ted Cruz should 'sit down and shut up.' Chamber of Commerce chief Thomas Donohue says 'that might be one thing we could work on.'

Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor
Thomas Donohue, President and CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce speaks to reporters in Washington Monday, Oct. 21, 2013.

Thomas Donohue, president and chief executive officer of the US Chamber of Commerce, the nation's largest business federation, was the guest at the Oct. 21 Monitor Breakfast.

Q: The business community's relations with the White House:

A: "There are more quiet gatherings and pulse-taking.... We are in better shape than we were."

The need to deal with entitlements like Social Security:

"Unsustainable entitlements are the root cause of our deficits and debts – and please note that is no administration's fault. It is a demographic reality."

Whether the Chamber will try to oust tea party incumbents in 2014 primaries and elect more business-friendly candidates:

"We have no idea what we are going to have on the table. We still have to see who is running."

Sen. Ted Cruz (R) of Texas, who argued in favor of a government shutdown until 'Obamacare' was defunded:

"I ... think about him as a tennis player.... If you are going to rush the net all the time, you better have a lot of motion to the left and the right. He hasn't proved that to me yet."

His response to businesspeople who say Senator Cruz should 'sit down and shut up':

"Well, that might be one thing we could work on."

Why in 2014 the Chamber will focus on holding the House for the GOP:

"I would not like to see this administration with the White House, the Senate, and the House ... it would be a long two years."

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