Cruz: Not enough votes now for Obamacare shutdown threat
August 25th, 2013
09:00 AM ET
12 months ago

Cruz: Not enough votes now for Obamacare shutdown threat

Updated at 10:16 a.m. ET on 8/25

(CNN) – Sen. Ted Cruz, who has crafted a plan to put the government's finances on the line if President Barack Obama's health care plan isn't stripped of its funding, said in an interview this week there aren't enough Republicans on board currently to make his idea a reality.

"We do not have the votes right now," Cruz said, noting that to succeed, he'd need 41 senators or 218 representatives to get behind his legislation - which would provide a year of funding for the federal government, minus Obamacare.

But the Texas Republican, speaking with CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley on "State of the Union," argued a coming "grass-roots tsunami" would bring over fellow conservatives to his side in the next month.

"I'm convinced there's a new paradigm in politics, that actually has Washington very uncomfortable. And it has politicians in both parties very uncomfortable," he said. "And that new paradigm is the rise of the grass roots, the ability of grass-roots activists to demand of their elected officials they do the right thing."

Opponents of Cruz's effort say he's risking a government shutdown in order to repeal Obama's health law, and argue the president would never sign a measure defunding the signature legislation of his five years in office.

But Cruz casts the effort differently: Democrats, he said, would be the ones shutting the government down if they refuse to support a measure that funds all federal programs except Obamacare.

"President Obama, Harry Reid, will scream and holler that the mean, nasty Republicans are threatening to shut down the government. And at that point, Republicans have to do something we haven't done in a long time - stand up and win the argument," he said.

"We have voted to keep the government open, to fund the government," Cruz continued. "Why is President Obama threatening to shut the government down to force Obamacare down the the throats of the American people?"

Cruz has support for his plan from a handful of Republicans in Congress, including Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah, but many others in his party have said the plan risks alienating Americans who are tired of seeing the federal government's finances put in the middle of partisan bickering.

Establishment figures like Sen. John McCain and last year's GOP presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, have voiced opposition to the plan, as has Sen. Rand Paul, a tea party-backed Kentucky senator who has aligned with Cruz in the past.

Democrats also fiercly oppose the tactic, including former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who appeared on "State of the Union" Sunday.

"These are crazy ideas from the far right," Dean said, calling Cruz "a slick spokesman."

"God help us if he gets to be anything more than the senator from Texas," he added.

Cruz was speaking with CNN in Houston, where he appeared at a town hall meeting that was part of a tour sponsored by the conservative Heritage Foundation meant to build support for the effort to defund Obamacare.

"Obamacare was passed under false pretenses," Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, a former senator, said on "State of the Union" Sunday. "The American people were lied to and they have every right to demand that their representatives stop this unfair and un-American law."

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.


Filed under: Ted Cruz • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Gurgy

    Idiot needs to shu up. American Al Queda is this Rethuglicans.... Ludicrous.

    August 25, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  2. Anonymous

    I don't know about the rest of America, but I don't take kindly to Calgary Cruz threatening my government with his slick double talk. Eventually even the most dimwitted American ought to see through this man and his family who apparently have never given their full support to ANY country they've milked, be it Cuba, Canada, or the United States of America.

    August 25, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  3. Pete

    Cruz I hope the tea party can employ you after midterms because you'll surely be outta a job as most of your republican collegues ...Your party wants to defund the ACA bill which is law because the SCOTUS says it is..You want another government shutdown,another S&P down grade like 2 years ago nitwit because that'll just be the final nail that does the whole republican party in and in your arrogence that overshadows your ignorence you probibly don't even realize it do yah big boy Canadian or is it Ethiopian this time jerk!!

    August 25, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  4. Kisha

    This man is the death of America! I pray he never will become POTUS

    August 25, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  5. Doc1

    What a loser. Sorry dude, but there's no way I would vote for you for President.

    August 25, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  6. DFisher

    My problem with Ted Cruz's whole let's defund Obamacare argument is that he has no realistic alternative – all of his arguments are pure speculation at best. Passing legislation to allow buying insurance across state lines is silly – why would someone from Vermont which has universal healthcare want anything to do with TX's health insurance system which leads the states in having people without health insurance, around 6 million? Further, his whole argument for health insurance portability and disconnecting health insurance from employment will simply raise health insurance costs for the individual American and lead to more Americans not being able to afford health insurance. His whole argument is simply based on scare tactics about jobs and there is no substance about providing a realistic alternative that won't drive up health insurance costs for the average American. If he's going to make these claims about providing an alternative, how about stepping up and providing a honest economic analysis that examines the effects on individual health insurance premiums? He won't because he already knows that his ideas will drive up costs. His argument is all smoke and mirrors.

    August 25, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  7. 1twinsfan

    Senator Cruz, you'd make a terrible poker player if this is how well you bluff.

    August 25, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  8. don in albuquerque

    Ya know, if this guy cared one whit about the American people he would be offering solutions, not demanding a government shut down. But the sad fact is its all about politics with he and the group he was speaking too. I do not even believe it is all racism (though some is) because I remember all the screaming at Clinton, nasty tricks, trying to create scandal, jokes about his child. and Clinton still managed to walk away leaving this country a surplus of funds. Something the GOP has never done, but they were able to destroy it in less then a year. Besides why is anyone even listening to this man, legally he cannot run for president. But then "legal" doesn't seen to mean much to this party anymore. Oh well, just stand back, shake your fists at heaven and scream "Benghazzzzi!!!!

    August 25, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  9. MaryM

    Will Americans Please vote these TPers, like Ted McCarthy Cruz, out of office now. The TPers have destroyed the once great republican party

    August 25, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  10. Donkey Party

    Go back to Cuba, or Canada, you delusional America-hating anarchist.

    August 25, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  11. Rick McDaniel

    This country is going to fail.......there is NO QUESTION of that.

    August 25, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  12. Tampa Tim

    Canadian born Cruz has declared war on the US. It appears that the idiot will not follow the laws of our great nation.

    August 25, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  13. rs

    There are not enough votes because the TEA Party and the GOP are insane. Fewer and fewer real Americans are buying their anti-Americanism, anti-government nonsense.

    August 25, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  14. sammy750

    Cruz and his Dad said they came to the USA for Freedom. Ted Cruz took advantage of college loans to go to top Universities. Now he denies college students that same right. Ted and his Dad are the new USA Terrorist that are trying to take over the USA. Both should be deported. They are not for the Freedoms that the USA allows them, but too take those freedoms away for the people of the USA. Ted and his Dad are evil imports, using the USA to spread there evil words.

    August 25, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. ST

    Ted Cruz is playing with people's way of thinking (Tea baggers). Why did he start his crusade of defunding "Obamacare" without securing the number of votes needed in order to make it happen? I heard him also being interviewed with Candy Crowley of CNN, him saying they flew from Cuba, now they are in US, if they can't get the freedom in US where else can they get it from? Ted, you are a sick individual, why don't you ask yourself the reasons which made you (your father), not succeed in Cuba. Should you force the country which took your family as a refugees, to do what you want to dictacte to them?

    August 25, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  16. Hector Slagg

    It is amazing of how many still don't understand the problem. Obama Care is continuing to kill jobs. That means less Tax money to run government programs. Many States are still running deficits in their budgets. However people in some states elected Repubilcan Governors where budgets were repaired, Ohio, Wisconsin, where they tried to recall Scott Walker but he got more votes the second time. Michigan where they passed Right to work because Michigan was starting to look like Detroit. But it looks like Obama Care is still alive but in intensive care. The smart thing would be to repeal it. Then jobs would come back I think no such animal exists and the people will be saddled with it for at least the next 30 years.

    August 25, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  17. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The only tidal wave coming for you ,Cruz,one of the most incompetent senators in Washington, will be in nov 2014 ,when all you GOP fools that don't represent the people but only your own horse and buggy agenda are kicked out of office.what has the GOP done in the last five years besides have 40 repeal obamaromney care votes that failed for your corporate cronies benifits. See you at the polls!!!!make sure you get in line and vote dem, no GOP losers.

    August 25, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  18. g

    health care no-but they will find money for war any day of the week

    August 25, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  19. Loren Smith

    It's needs to fail its a Ponzi scheme that discriminates against young people. As a healthy young man I shouldn't have to pay more for insurance so some fat azz with a pre existing and get cheaper insurance. The only people this law helps is older people with pre existing conditions. Older people had their chance to make money and become successful. Why make it harder for young people when the odds are already against us?

    August 25, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  20. jboh

    If this man, and his TEA/GOP backers weren't so pathetic they'd be laughable. They don't have anywhere near the support they claim. Quit putting-on a show for "the base", and start doing the peoples' business as they were hired to do, instead of keeping up the temper tantrums. You lost the election. Get over it and GROW UP!

    August 25, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  21. Dave Harris

    This guy really imagines that people will think it's Democrats who are sabotaging the government? Like Republicans had no choice to destroy the government, so it's Democrats' fault. Only in Texas are people this dumb.

    August 25, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  22. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Demint, the retire GOP conservative clown, needs to shut his mouth and go back to his stink tank and GOP bs propaganda machine and sponge off his free healthcare for his mental problems while he try's to take yours!!!!

    August 25, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  23. jinx9to88

    Cruz, the hundreds of people that show up at your town halls meetings to here your lies arent enough people to do anything.

    August 25, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  24. the hippies were right

    "The ability of grass-roots activists to demand of their elected officials they do the right thing". The problem with that scenario is I guarantee over 90% of these activists who are against the ACA, couldn't even name 3 factual aspects of the law. They are only against it because they have been led to believe it is "bad". These activists have never tried to obtain the facts regarding the details of this law. If you tell one of them where they can get the facts, they believe the information is a made up and they feel they can't trust the information. They say if it's on the internet it can't be legitimate. So they vote against their own best interests. There are several web sites where you can read all aspects of the bill. You can also read the actual bill and then form your own opinion. But that would be too much work, when Fox "spews" tells you all you need to know!

    August 25, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  25. Italmn

    Ted Cruz and his family have never had anything positive about any country they have been in Canada, the U.S or Cuba. All they have done is land here in the U.S and reep the benefits and suck the money out for themselves. This guy needs to go away. Or better yet.............Go back to Cuba !

    August 25, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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