Be More Like Ted Cruz? Tennessee Senator Alexander Says No Way

Sen. Alexander announced today he's filing legislation which would require the Obama Administration to give weekly updates on enrollment in the health insurance exchanges. While a critic of Obamacare, Alexander was adamantly against shutting down the government to defund it.  Image: Lamar Alexander Campaign

Sen. Alexander announced today he’s filing legislation which would require the Obama Administration to give weekly updates on enrollment in the health insurance exchanges. While a critic of Obamacare, Alexander was adamantly against shutting down the government to defund it. Image: Lamar Alexander Campaign

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander is facing pressure from conservative activists as he runs for re-election. But the senator says he’s not like his outspoken Tea Party colleague from Texas.

Alexander was asked by Knoxville’s Newstalk 98.7 if he feels any pressure to be more like Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who led the fight to shutdown the federal government over Obamacare.  Alexander said he fights for his ideas, as Cruz does. But he has a track record of getting his ideas enacted into law.

“I learned to count in the Maryville City Schools,” Alexander said in an interview Tuesday morning.  “And the way to get a result when you’ve only got 45 senators who are Republicans and you need 60 to pass anything important, you have to persuade some Democrats you’re right.”

Alexander offered some examples of his working with Democrats, going back to his days as Tennessee governor in the 1980s. Over the past few weeks, the Senator has said the GOP needs to be the “take over the government party” instead of the “shutdown the government party.”

But he’s also trying to prove his conservative credentials, as he faces a primary challenge on the right from State Rep. Joe Carr. Alexander has been especially vocal about the problems surrounding the roll out of the healthcare.gov website.

Please keep your community civil. Comments will be moderated prior to posting, and Nashville Public Radio reserves the right to approve them at its discretion. Comments containing links promoting goods, services - even noble organizations - will not be published. Your comments may include external links, but all comments with links will be delayed as they are reviewed. Comments containing profanity will be rejected.