October 6th, 2013
11:16 AM ET
12 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. 1montanagal

    Oh, and how sweet of Cruz to defend reporter Dana Bash - he certainly didn't defend her a couple of months ago when Michelle Bachman screamed at Ms. Bash and used the old Tea Party Doublespeak when Dana Bash asked a simple question about Bachman's own tirade about the President's dog. These Tea Party people are just unbelievable in their arrogance and ignorance.

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

    This is a very sick individual to not only hold America hostage but also threaten hiking the interest rates on every person with any credit in our nation. Sick, sick, sick!!! He should be at least censored on the floor of the senate for his remarks alone!!! These people desire to be dictators not legislators!!!

    October 6, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  3. MSN

    Is there any way to do a nation wide recall of Cruz.

    October 6, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. Mark

    Today, the federal government is shut down. Tomorrow, the full faith and credit of the United States, not to mention our global leadership, will be destroyed. And finally, our republic itself disappears and is replaced by a Christian theocracy. All this is unavoidable.

    October 6, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. vinster76

    it is amazing how many times I have tried to post my support for this man, and express disdain for this abomination being foisted on us, yet CNN dismisses my comments.....Just refuses to post my opinion, even though my comments are not abusive. What that tells me is selective picking and choosing of pro-abomination comments rule the day, much like stifling free speech on here to give the illusion that support for Obamnation care is universal, which, as we all know, is not......Congrats CNN on being the thought police for the masses.........I ceased watching your 24 hour dribble on cable years ago, turns out, I had very good reason to dismiss you as well......................

    October 6, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. sandy

    Mr Cruz...your day will come....

    October 6, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. yogi

    With Cruz as the new clown, the GOP freak show continues, and since they cannot help themselves, we, the sane majority need to help them by voting them out in the next elections.

    October 6, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  8. Saul

    Ted Cruz is playing politics with the good faith of the United States of America, say goodbye to being the world currency say goodbye to 4% interest rates. Say hello to the newest financial calamity brought to you once again by your fiscally responsible party... (Sarcasm)

    October 6, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. billmosby

    As a follower of Dave Ramsey, I have to point out that getting out of debt quickly has two components: reducing unnecessary spending, and increasing your income. We have made a stab at the first part, but have done nothing about the second part. Put taxes back to where they were in 1999 and a lot more people will be paying taxes that Bush exempted with his tax cuts; and high earners will also be paying more. If we had just stuck to the plan before Bush wrecked it, we would have no debt to speak of by now. We got on the right path once, we can do it again. To do anything less is pretty much treason.

    October 6, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. Jake_Jax

    what a DB you are? Another bitter Republican from Texas, shocking

    October 6, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. Jim M

    What a bunch of crap. Crowley should have shot down every thing he said.

    October 6, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. R Low

    Instead of ruminating on a law that has already passed Congress, and healthcare that millions are now going to be accessing, don't you think your time and our tax dollars would be better spend for both sides to work together in making this landmark legislation the best it can be and stop trying to disgrace him and hinder him each step of the way? Maybe working for the people's needs – yes the majority that elected our President twice – the people who pay your salary, would be a good start.

    October 6, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. JimmyD

    The GOP is now so far flung from reality that it's beyond laughable. It's now just pathetic and most folks with anything resembling a grip on reality are exasperated. 2010 was a wake up call that the GOP never took advantage of. 2014 will be another wake up call when basically puts the GOP back where they belong – a permanent minority group of folks who just don't get it.

    October 6, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. Mel Stricker

    So Ted Cruz want to use the Debt Ceiling as leverage. Let see, the debt ceiling is not increased and then the US defaults on it debt payments. This causes the US credit rating to be decreased again which causes the interest rate to go up. With the interest rate up the debt payments increase causing each American to be required to pay more for these loans.

    And this is Ted Cruz's answer to want he wants?

    Why should Ted Cruz care, if everything goes badly for him or the US all he has to do is go back to Canada,

    October 6, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  15. MAXIE ELLISON

    Matt and Ron you are exactly right

    October 6, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  16. CM34pres

    What if Obama threatened to VETO the debt limit increase (and send the country into default) unless a comprehensive assault weapons ban were included in the "compromise"?

    Just imagine the Republican outrage!

    Seems to me if default is "leverage" both sides are free to demand anything...and the country suffers.

    October 6, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  17. bajadelmar

    GOP/Teaba99ers are nothing but anarchists and traitors. That's your legacy imbeciles.

    October 6, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. tyjlevine

    Ted Cruz is an example of how even ivy league graduates can have a degree but zero common sense or brain cells.

    October 6, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. khan in chandler

    I used to be, repeat used to be a card carrying Republican, but now sigh!!!!.

    I like O-Care as it keeps my university going kids on my insurance till they are 26. When my son got hit with a disease for about a year, and had his kidney operated on, we only ended up paying about $15,000 instead of $160,000 + more.

    Texans keeps giving us these gems, who the hell died made this idiot to speak for me.

    Please send him back to Texas or Canada or Cuba, but not back to Washington.

    October 6, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. AWS

    I'm sorry...Cruz ate Crowley's lunch..He is so wrong, but Candy gave him every opening...She should have at a minimum slapped him in the face, and called him a traitor!

    October 6, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. Woops

    One trick pony

    October 6, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  22. Laura P

    keep digging that grave, Cruz. meanwhile, the country that I thought was impossible to unite is uniting behind the idea that the tea baggers are the scourge of the nation. And the GOP leadership is letting the tea baggers lead them by the nose. Hopefully they'll all fall into that 6 foot deep (and deepening) hole.

    October 6, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. Katherine H. Capps

    I have been an admirer of Candy Crowley for many years and I recognize that she is the chief political correspondent for CNN (thus politics must inform her policy discussion) but I am growing weary of the ignorant debate about healthcare. Healthcare costs have been escalating for 30 plus years, employers have been in the process of removing the fiscal liability for employee coverage for 30 plus years (started with trying to manage costs- realizing that to be impossible- moved toward limiting benefits). Please, please take your responsibility seriously Candy and present the economic facts and not the other parties talking points. I really, really want an informed discussion, not political rhetoric from someone I once respected. Good for sound bytes for news re-purposing but does not impact opportunity for resolution. I am NOT concerned about keeping Republicans in office, Democrats in office or running numbers up for CNN- I am just interested in the facts and the truth so Americans can pressure their representatives based on correct economic information about the unintended consequences and not ignorance based on "R's" against "D's".

    October 6, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. Mike

    Cruz is thinking by doing this that he will end up in the Whitehouse in 2016!

    October 6, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  25. Steve

    This guy is playing a game of chicken with the global economy and our way of life.

    October 6, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
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