October 6th, 2013
11:16 AM ET
11 months ago

Cruz: Use debt ceiling debate for leverage

(CNN) - Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas linked raising the debt ceiling to funding the Affordable Care Act in an exclusive interview Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union” with Candy Crowley.

“The debt ceiling historically has been among the best leverage that Congress has to rein in the executive," Cruz said.

He listed three objectives as Republicans approach the debt ceiling.

"No. 1, we should look for some significant structural plan and reduce government spending. No. 2, we should avoid new taxes, and No. 3, we should look for ways to mitigate the harms from Obamacare."

"Since 1978, we raised the debt ceiling 58 times," said Cruz. "Twenty times Congress attached very specific and stringent requirements, many of the most significant spending restraints. So the president's demand to jack up the nation's credit card with no limits, no constraints - it's not reasonable."

The United States will reach its borrowing limit on October 17.

The government temporarily shut down on October 1 after Republicans in the House held up the passage of a spending bill, which would allow the government to pay its bills, in an attempt to get changes or delayed implementation of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama's signature health care initiative.

Cruz is seen by some as the driving force behind the government shutdown, as he has urged fellow Republicans in the House to continue demanding that any plan to fund the government be tied to defunding the president's sweeping health care initiative.

Cruz said that letting Obamacare go further into effect "would destroy the private health care system." He blamed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for refusing to take up a series of piecemeal bills passed by the House to fund certain parts of the government. Democrats in the Senate and the White House say they will only pass a "clean" spending bill that does not carry restrictions or changes to the health care law.

The tea party favorite has been a target of blame from both Democrats and some Republicans for the shutdown standstill.

"The president and certainly Harry Reid and Senate Democrats have not been shy and using all sorts of inflammatory attacks," Cruz said about receiving criticism from Democrats and some within his own party.

"The fact that you're seeing those attacks, I think, is indicative of the fact that we're winning the argument. Obamacare isn't working."

According to a CBS News poll released this week, 72% of Americans disapprove of the shutdown, and more Americans blame congressional Republicans than blame Obama.

Despite this, Cruz doesn't think his actions have taken a negative toll on his party's image.

"Not remotely," Cruz said. "But I also think far too many people are worried about politics."


Filed under: Government Shutdown • national debt • Ted Cruz
soundoff (1,410 Responses)
  1. adamsidir

    Why does nobody respect the office of the president anymore? Our president, whom we elected, established Obamacare. Now these right wing nut jobs are basically saying the president doesn't matter, we'll just whine until we get our way. If they can get away with that then we are witnessing something truly historic: the decline of importance of the president. I mean, what's the point of even having a president if these guys can just shut down the government every time they don't get their way? Truly disrespectful to the American tradition.

    October 6, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  2. TNPatriot

    Ted Cruz- Traitor in Chief!

    October 6, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  3. Eric B

    there is something very wrong with this man and the people who elected him. this isnt a game this is actual life

    October 6, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  4. Anonymous

    Let's just keep linking everything together – brilliant!!!! It worked great last time (or this time).

    October 6, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. vic , nashville ,tn

    “Debt ceiling” is not negotiable using that is for leverage stupidest thing I ever heard

    October 6, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. sly

    this guy is dangerous ...

    October 6, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. gee

    hot air

    October 6, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  8. Lynn

    For a person holding dual citizenship, Cruz has become the leading edge of American politics. Is the GOP so defunct of good leaders they have to rely on someone who cares so little about the U.S. that he will do anything to bring this country down for his own purposes. Cuba is winning in this instance. He was born in Canada and has Cuban leanings.

    October 6, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. RandyNewnan23

    The crazy man has the button to the doomsday machine.

    October 6, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  10. dao

    Arguments aside, Cruz is thinking on this move to either put him as a future White House candidate or a House one timer. Take the bet and everyone else be damned.

    October 6, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  11. michael w cleveland

    This guy Cruz is a complete and out of touch A$$!!!

    October 6, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. nilla

    Even if Congress is forced onto the exchanges, Cruz will still be "exempt", since he's on his wife's health insurance plan.

    October 6, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  13. Melissa

    What harms from Obamacare? Oh wait... there isn't any except to the profit margin of rich people who won't even notice it. I highly recommend republicans watch Continuum. It's a nice cautionary tale about what will happen with you in charge.

    October 6, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. John

    This nitwit, and other like him, needs to go. If the Affordable Health Act is hurting millions then repeal it. These jokers have shut down the government because THEY don't like the legislation – most likely they also don't need it. Actually, they don't like Obama; the legislation is just the vehicle they have picked to attack him. It is personal and without a thought to the welfare of the US people.

    October 6, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. JL Taylor

    Ted Cruz is a fool.

    October 6, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  16. Dave

    Most people see Cruz as a villain today. At this time next year, he will be looked at as a hero.

    October 6, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. Drew

    OK, so now we know how deeply Cruz is in the pockets of the anti-ACA lobbyists, all dressed up as "concern for the American people." Good to know.

    October 6, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  18. Jason Glugla

    I hope you Tea Party folks have got your guns and all the provisions stocked up, because when the crazies you put in office bring the country down, a good percentage of the population will likely come looking for you amongst the ruins.

    October 6, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. John

    Cruz is a Waco..... nothing more than a self love crazed idiot.. I can picture him and Paliin on the same ticket of lunacy

    October 6, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  20. Anonymous

    this nut job needs to go before he causes more harm to our country

    October 6, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  21. Aj

    The ACA already passed as LAW Ted...nothing to debate!

    October 6, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  22. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Despite this, Cruz doesn't think his actions have taken a negative toll on his party's image."

    No, not at all ... except maybe me and a few million of others just like me. Don't blame me though. Having saw this train wreck coming down the line, I left the Grand Old Party a decade ago. This new GOP is not my father's GOP. It is not my mother's GOP. It isn't my GOP.

    Does this make me an Independent? Not on your life. I hopped on over the to other side lock, stock, and barrel. You know. The side that actually does endorse policies that care about folks: the elderly (which I am considered one of); the poor (which I might end up being if this new Grand Old Party has it way); our veterans (of which my husband is one of); the middle class (of which I am still a card carrying member of); minorities (of which my neighbors are members of); and every other disenfranchised group that no longer is welcome in the Grand Old Party. I have no doubt there are those in the above categories who still think the GOP is for them. Eventually they too will at some time in the near future understand just how abused and mocked they have been by the most greedy of their party. No, I'm not only talking the the Ted Cruz's of their party. I also include all Republicans (moderate or otherwise) who have stood up and allowed all the mockery to continue. Saying I am a "Independent" is like saying "I don't like the abuse ... but hey ... bring it on anyway.

    Maybe... coulda... shoulda doesn't cut it with this group of Republicans. It never will.

    October 6, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  23. Patrish

    Cruz is a a self-center jerk. He only cares about his glory, not about the country, or the people.

    October 6, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  24. ariveria

    so it isnt enough he has shut down the government. now he wants to destroy the economy.

    it is amazing to me that anybody blames the democrats when it was republicans like cruz that forced the government shut down and how wants a default on our debt. the blame the democrats argument is because they didnt fold like a house of cards

    my father explained gun safety to me at an early age. never point a gun at something you dont intend to kill. government shutdown/debt default safety never threaten to shut down the government or default on the debt unless you are ready to accept the consequences.

    when will a conservative ever take responsibility for their actions

    October 6, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  25. judith

    What a slimeball blackmailer. Hope he runs hard for President. It will destroy the GOP.

    October 6, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
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