October 6th, 2013
11:16 AM ET
10 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. Matt

    This guy will go down in history as the guy who destroyed the GOP establishment and turned it into an extremist group.

    October 6, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. Ron L

    The problem with this interview is ONCE AGAIN the interviewer was ill equipped. When Senator Cruz kept saying the Congress has sent individual bills to the Senate and Harry Reid refuses to let the Senate Vote on them. The answering reply to this was astoundingly simple and yet Ms. Crowley never asked it. The response should have been, there are several Republicans and Democrats that believe a clean C.R. and Debt Ceiling Bill has the votes on the House floor why won't Speaker Boehner allow THEM to be voted on. Just because Mr. Boehner sternly says "this is not a game" or "there are not enough votes to pass a clean CR" does not make it true. If there are not enough votes....PROVE IT!! Until it is actually placed on the floor for a vote, guest what, IT IS A GAME!!!

    October 6, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. rick

    Ted as much said he is a Political Terrorist and is willing to bring the US economy down if the Tea Party doesn't get it's way on the budget and Obamacare. also they are not going to allow any new taxes, they would agree to cutting more taxes for the top 10%, and make trillions of dollars cuts in Social Security, medicare, Medicare benefits. end head start, end food studies. and kill millions of federal jobs, all because they hate the Big Government.
    They love the shut down, they want the US to not be able to pay its bills and the dollar bill to plummet on the world exchanges. this has been their game plan all along.
    They know the US can't wait till 2014 elections, or even 2 more weeks before chaos set in on wall street.
    It's just a sad day in America when 60 or 70 congressmen can hold everybody in the US hostage so they can push the tea party agenda on all Americans and bring down 95% of even their own voters.
    If people in Dark Red States like Texas, Ks, Ok,FL, VA, NC, GA and NM dont belive their states will be hurt by this radical course of action then let it all burn down, the only side effect is China will own everything if it does, and guys like Charles Koch will be showing coal with the rest of us in work camps.
    I wonder if it is to late to let those states secede from the USA?

    October 6, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  4. Shirley

    Just watch a debate between Cruz and his Democratic opponent, David Sadler, in the Senate race. It just shows how little knowledge he has of anything. I did not vote for him, but apologize that he was elected in Texas. Texans need to listen to these debates. He does have an agenda, but it is all about him.

    October 6, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. NEVER to VOTE REPUBLICAN again

    Send him back to Canada! They would not give him one second! Wake up people, this guy is a sociopath! He will take this country down in order to win! That's how a Sociopath's mind works.

    October 6, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  6. Jimmy

    I am from texas and really feel sad what tx has done by sending this guy to senate. Why in the world he gets to say so much when there are more seniors and mentally balanced people than this ass, beats me

    October 6, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  7. 1montanagal

    Candy Crowley did a good job *trying* to get Cruz to just come out and say what he means, but he used the usual Tea Party Doublespeak to reiterate the same old 3 or 4 "talking points" (he must have gotten those at the Drudge Report because I don't think he can really think for himself) they've been harping on. Mr. Cruz: Go back to Democracy 101: One faction of one party of one house of one branch (i.e. about 30 people) CANNOT hold the entire U.S. government and economy hostage to get their way!

    October 6, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. carlos

    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 |

    Jason, I wouldn't say a good percentage of the population, I would say a great deal of the population.

    Rafael Cruz is a Canadian and the Canadians do not even want him.

    October 6, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  9. skeptical-guy

    The irony to me is that Ted Cruz, a man born in a Canadian hospital, in a country that has universal healthcare, is so against American children and their families having the same benefits available to them. I am also amazed that someone who has only been a congressman since January could have so much influence over a party of such seasoned veterans. Fascinating.

    October 6, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. Psk228

    Seems like we need borders to the north.

    October 6, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. DJC

    I really don't think a Tea Party goofball from the state with the highest number of uninsured people in the US is justified in trying to shut down the ACA. A better idea would be to just give Texas and Cruz back to Mexico. And throw in that phony Rick what ever his name is for kicks and giggles.

    October 6, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. dufus

    why is cnn they giving that teabaggin' nut job a platform to spew his stupidity!? the debt ceiling should be used, if anything, as leverage to end big oil subsidies and use that to help foot the ACA!

    October 6, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. Michael Q

    Shame on Candy Crowley, for being either totally unprepared or cowardly, for not challenging this man from spewing more half-truths and total lies to make his points.

    October 6, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  14. Roy Jackson

    Ted Cruz is a hero and I wish he represented my area (North east).
    It's pretty apparent that the anti-Cruz posters just don't understand the concept of freedom...or responsibility.
    I commend Senator Cruz for his aggressiveness and integrity

    October 6, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. Neal

    I often hear Republicans say that majority of America chose Republicans to represent the country in US House. The truth is Republicans received one million fewer votes than Democrats, the totals do not include the actions of preventing legitimate additional Democrat votes by making it more difficult to vote. GERRMANDERING must abolished to have a true Democracy

    October 6, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. Joe RN

    Cruz is an Idiot and a bigoted as is the entire tea party. During the Bush years our congress was out of contol with spending, raising the debt ceiling 17 times. No one ever heard about the debt ceiling, until Obama became president, because he is our 1st black persident, and he wasn't going to get the same blank check as W. So now the GOP are the fiscal hawks who want to control spending, and are basically telling americans not to get healthcare insurance. How can it be bad for business to have millions of more americans covered with Heathcare insurance. People who are insured will get their issues treated. which means more patients, more medication, more jobs, more profits, which is what our heathcare system wants. How can that be bad. Who cares who deliefvers it, as long as you are cared for and the bill is paid. Look into what our self absorbed political leaders get for benifits, and it will make you wonder why we as tax paying americans can't get the same. Cruz walks around running mouth, and lying all the way, never offereing any proof to what his says. He like many to the FAR Right, they are the new type of bully who texts his hatered instead of telling it to your face, who endlessly repeats falsehoods to stick it to one man, our president, and for what. He has insurance. He doesn't care if you do.

    October 6, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  17. Will

    These nuts need to stop finding ways to end Obama Care and start helping the american people! People who don't have health care need health insurance! The only people complaining are those who already have good health care.

    October 6, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. Ray

    I have health insurance. While the cost is over $9,000 a year, with a $3,000 deductale. Most of the bills sent by doctors requested by the hospital, and othe physicians i never heard of, where not covered. So you think the private sector is not broken? Ted, Please!!!

    October 6, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. Toad

    Do you believe me now when I say the Tea Party people are crazy??

    October 6, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  20. Robert N. constant

    Crux is a self serving demagogue. His philosophical position is that of the Spanish grandees who imposed slavery on Cuba. He is a throwback to an era where "might makes right" and if the poor are dying because of their needs, "So be it!" Every man for himself. Ted Cruz is a disease.

    October 6, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  21. Namejkl

    Send this guy back to canada...revoke his citizenship...this much does not belong in america

    October 6, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. Whiteman from deep south

    The man is a total idiot. Now it proves that an ivy league education is no better than a local community college education.

    October 6, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  23. TLF

    TED CRUZ is a HERO. Keep u the good work TED.

    October 6, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  24. 2Shoes

    Clearly a guy thinking he"s smarter than he really is. No understanding of the real world.

    October 6, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  25. Bob

    Perhaps, real soon, the sea of stupid, uneducated, proud-to-be-ignorant fools who listen to conservative talk radio and support trash like Palin and Cruz will come to whatever senses they can muster. These are nothing but trenchantly anti-American, self-aggrandizing slime. It's time for decent people, if there are enough left in this sewer of a country, to stand up for decency and democracy, despite the fact there there is precious little of either left in this nation. And, with regard to comments about Cruz's education, law school is not education. The conceptual level of law school is somewhere around 6th or 7th grade. It's simply a barrier to entry that provides a type of welfare for stupid but ambitious English and political science majors who would otherwise, and probably should be, unemployable.

    October 6, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
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