October 6th, 2013
11:16 AM ET
6 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 (1,411 Responses)
  1. Carl Hudson

    Senator Cruz and reality travel in different circles. He really appeals to the dark side of Americans and he's found an audience with our physdo-revolutionaries. When this is over–I sincerely hope they're learned their lesson.

    October 6, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. mungo

    Republicans calculated the odds of this succeeding versus the odds they were doing something incredibly stupid... and they went ahead anyway.

    October 6, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. Tony

    Cruz is right. Leverage. Let's place Cruz on one of of a see-saw, then drop the the remaining, more rational Congressmen, on the other end in order to blast Cruz up into outer space.

    October 6, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. zolaholt

    Bob Scheiffer expressed his surprise that a freshman Senator could have so much influence - I thought he was talking about Obama! The mainstream media are trying to help Obama by showing negative effects of the "shutdown"; but most of these are caused by the administration's venal 'Make life as difficult for people as we can" tactics. Soooo, must be time for some Wag-The-Dog stuff - why don't we go after some terrorists to get the President's "We're Winning" message and botched ObamaCare rollout off the front page.

    October 6, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. Peg

    To use the debt ceiling for leverage is to threaten to destroy the USA.

    The TeaGOP keep saying they are willing to completely destroy the US and world's economies to keep Obamacare (in their minds) from doing some harm to the economy.

    insane.

    I guy said it best in CNN Your Money yesterday when he said that the GOP are behaving like the ex-husband who says he is going to kill his ex-wife because he loves her

    Criminally insane

    October 6, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. Roger

    This gentlemen has to be grateful that many people in the country follows politics. If he has his way he prefers dictatorship, isn't he ?

    October 6, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  7. z2cents

    Let the fat lady sing.

    October 6, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. Name

    Sad very sad u Ted Cruz are ruining America!

    October 6, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

    Donald Trump with half the brains, if you can believe it is possible.

    October 6, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. Jon Robinson

    I am just baffled and angry beyond words can express as why Candy went easy on this Tea Party Terrorist and only threw at him soft questions. Ted Cruz is the modern domestic terrorism, and if not stopped it will destroy this country.

    October 6, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  11. Jack

    Boehner: "I will allow the government to head into default if Obama doesn't cave in to our demands"

    Question for JOHN BOEHNER: "Why shoudn't the Democrats demand gun control, higher taxes for the rich and SINGLE PAYER health reform for the U.S. or we force the US into default?"

    What makes you the special snowflake?

    October 6, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. Renee Marie Jones

    Does Cruz even understand how government work? He talks about limiting executive power, then all the things he talks about: spending, taxes, the ACA, are all things CONGRESS enacted.

    October 6, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. MN1963

    Cannot understand why Candy let him go unchecked on so many outrageous statements.

    October 6, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  14. edpeters101

    Will somebody please smarten-up and put duck-tape on this self promoting jerk. He has destroyed what little (and I do mean little) integrity the House had, and now he's trying to take down the integrity of the US.

    October 6, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  15. LVG

    How come this village idiot is not pushing for a single payer system which would save taxpayers billions of dollars if that is his true motivation? In fact legislation has been proposed to do that but idiots like Cruz keep voting against it:

    A new study shows that expanding Medicare to every American citizen would not only achieve universal coverage and trillions in savings, but it's also feasible to implement based on legislation that has already been proposed.

    Gerald Friedman, PhD, a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, released his study today in Washington, D.C., at a congressional briefing. The basis of Dr. Friedman's research is HR 676 — the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act — which is a bill introduced by Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) in February that would establish a single-payer healthcare program. The bill has been proposed for 11 straight years.

    In his study, Dr. Friedman said if Rep. Conyers' bill were signed into law, the expansion of Medicare could "paradoxically" save the U.S. healthcare system $592 billion in 2014 alone. The main savings would come from slashing "administrative waste" in the private health insurance industry and using the government's bargaining power to obtain cheaper pharmaceuticals, according to the report. Over the next decade, the study suggested savings could reach $1.8 trillion."""""""""""""""""
    How come this village idiot is not pushing for a single payer system which would save taxpayers billions of dollars if that is his true motivation? In fact legislation has been proposed to do that but idiots like Cruz keep voting against it:

    ""

    October 6, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  16. LH Thompson

    Have a friend, a vet of Vietnam war, who was drafted out of college, his son, who is 20 years old, is in training to become
    a fireman in southern California. His son is an intern and doesn't always get any money for the various projects he goes
    on, such as a call to go into the forests of Northern California and fight raging fires. My friend's son is covered by the
    new healthcare bill enacted by the congress. He's covered till the age of 26. If that weren't in place and he were injured
    fighting fires, would he have medical coverage?
    Mr Cruz has launched his political career on the backs of working people, who, by the millions are signing up of Affordable
    Healthcare Act overage. Mr Cruz, as a member of congress, is covered by a very good healthcare plan that the congress
    has in place for members of congress. Mr Cruz and his fellow member of congress do not pay social security taxes.
    Mr Cruz and his fellow members of congress are not, and have not, stopped getting paid during the shutdown that Mr Cruz
    and his fellow members of congress caused. Why is that? Mr Cruz wants to "save" the situation for the Tea Party folks
    and launch himself into being a possible presidential candidate. Is this the kind of inexperienced, opportunistic, extremism
    we would want governing this country? I don't think so. Extremism in defense of liberty is a vice.

    October 6, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  17. JCR

    Cruz and those like him is what’s wrong with Congress today......Clueless, inept and bent on destroying Government. He should be run out of town along with any Tea Party members. They are no better than terrorists we fight daily, maybe worse since they are part of our Government. Boehner get some gonads and put Cruz and his cronies in their place and see what these clowns are doing to your Republican Party.

    October 6, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  18. Pamela smith

    Candy Crowley is a horrible interviewer. She let him go on and on, misstate facts. No questioning of anything he said.

    October 6, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  19. Tired of the Crazies

    "Obamacare is destroying the healthcare of Americans..." Of course that conveniently overlooks the fact the Cruz and others want to prevent millions of Americans from even having access to healthcare. Give it up, Candy, you can't have a logical conversation with someone (Republican or Democrat) who is so I isolated in his own echo chamber that he truly believes everything he says is truth and everything he disagrees with is false. This myopic view of the world is dangerous when you are totally unable to see any validity in anyone else's view other than your own. Apparently critical thinking is as taboo in Washington right now as compromise. And the extremists have control of the Republican party and their peers can't seem to reign them in, so no end is sight right now.

    October 6, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  20. blake

    Finally a GOP Senator that knows how to play hardball with Obama and the Democrats in Congress. The Democrats fear Cruz. They laugh at Boehner, McConnell, McCain, Graham, and company. Wish the RINOs would get out of the way and stop shooting the GOP in the foot. Sadly they have more in common with the Democrats than they do their own party.

    October 6, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  21. PJ

    He is indeed one of the craziest Senators we have had in decades. He really should return to Texas and sell used cars.

    October 6, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  22. Dick Mechem

    Ted Cruz makes me proud I am no longer a Republican. I've never seen so many lies, distortion of the facts, omission of facts, misrepresentation of facts since I studied about about Nazi propaganda in the 1930's through the end of WWII. He needs to be sent back to Texas to live under the rock from whence he came!

    October 6, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  23. Michael MacBride

    Ted Cruz stars at Top Bum

    October 6, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  24. GOP =Greed Over People

    Whether you hate or love the Canuck, he does exemplify the TP terrorists and what their plans are for this country and the direction of the GOP.

    That is either going to be a really good thing or a really bad thing for the GOP in 2014.

    I know which way I think it will play out in 2014 and beyond!

    October 6, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  25. Elmer P.

    We being nailed way harder with "Cruz-care" then Obamacare ever could. This clown really needs to be sent to the unemployment line with the rest of the workers he helped furlough.

    October 6, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
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