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. rh404

    Start buying Chinese yuan because that's going to be the currency for world trade once the republicans and tea party finish destroying the us and world economies.

    October 6, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. Vijay

    It is quite true that Obama has ignored all issued related to the nations's finanes. He needs to start correcting that immediately . He also made a huge mistake of ramming down ;obmacare; down the nations throat as soon as he got into office and in the proess squandered his political ;capital'.;;
    Now extremesists like Cruze have quckly found the level of the ;pursee; which are in the congtress and and are quickly learning to hold the preident a ;hostage;a a gutless speakers torn between the extreme GOP faction and keeping his job.
    It will take steady national prayers to get us out of this mess. -Vijay

    October 6, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  3. Josh Daver

    Thank God we have a few outstanding independent folks in this country like Sen. Ted Cruz.
    What is the use of a debt ceiling if it has to be increased?
    A government that stays in power by ruining the country is a government that needs to be disposed off by other means. This is what Sen. Ted Cruz is trying to achieve. All independent Americans should support him.

    October 6, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  4. bajadelmar

    You ruined our credit rating last year and now this BS. Unbelievable the depths that you GOP traitors have sunk to.

    October 6, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  5. notogop

    People, people! Ted is from the great state of Texas, you can't really expect rational thought from him. He attended the Geo. W. Bush School of Logical Thought and Effective Governance. He pasted at the head of his class. He did not attend classes on syntax and grammar though.

    October 6, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. tony

    The answer to criminal extortion is the 2nd Amendment and "stand your ground". Why has the NRA gone quiet?

    October 6, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. stevezeledon

    Crowley cut Lew off and yet let Cruz spout ad nauseam, and regretted not having more time to give him. Get her off the air!

    October 6, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. al

    "would destroy the private health care system."
    So increasing their customer base will destroy their business?
    said no executive, ever.

    October 6, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  9. Just clarifying

    Why only one sided political affiliated people comment on this board. People should be non bias if possible when posting comments.

    October 6, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. Tag9

    This guy should be arrested for fraud !

    October 6, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. jon

    I know people think this guy is a puppet from Canada, but tbh over there people don't go grandstanding to get what they want. I think he left Canada cause nobody wanted him in office XD

    October 6, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. Terry in Florida

    This is the face of the Tea Party. This is the voice of Big-Business fueled extremism. This is the venom of the snake.

    October 6, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. ED8_Cruz

    What an idiot this Cruz is. He wants to screw the country to save the country? And he's doing all these because he THINKS the ACA is going to screw the country? Talk about a stupid dog chasing its own tail.

    October 6, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. DMR

    Sen. Cruz once again prove the interests of the GOP\TP are not the citizens of the United States. Cruz has made it clear that he, nor the GOP \ Tea Party folks understand how the U.S. budgeting process works. Cruz and his Tea Party buddies would rather cripple the U.S. economy with their largely false and misleading rhetoric, than do their job. The ACA is settled law, end of story. If one does not want to be a part of the ACA, the solution is simple, pay the penalty tax. That said, if you get seriously ill or hurt, just who should step in to help you with the bills? There is a well-established process for repealing or changing a law and the GOP \ TP refuse to follow it.

    The entire Federal shut down and the looming debt ceiling mess are without question the fault of the GOP \ TP. The GOP has let a small number of right wing extremist take control of the party and this is the mess they create. The solution to the U.S. debt is actually very basic, roll back the tax rate to that prior to the G.W. Bush tax cuts. Those tax cuts did not benefit middle America, they benefited the wealthy. It is time for that extreme benefit to end. I would also take a long look at taxing off shore income, and closing other tax loopholes that only the very rich can use. That too needs to end. The Social Security issues that might be looming in several years can be nipped now. Remove the cap on the Social Security tax. (The Social Security tax rate is 6.2 percent on income under $113,700 through the end of 2013. The Medicare tax rate is 1.45 percent of all income.)

    October 6, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. chris B

    Cruz is playing the game for personal political gain

    October 6, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. L R W

    Anybody who listens to Cruz is listening to the DEVIL !

    October 6, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  17. Amazing

    Ted Cruz = Homer Simpson! Enough said although I have probably insulted Homer Simpson!

    October 6, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  18. John Holroyd

    I would like to use the Debt Ceiling Debate to mitigate the harm caused by Senator Cruz and the Tea Party.

    October 6, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. James

    I'm curious why the GOP doesn't cut loose these Tea Party ultra conservatives. Clearly they don't abide by their own Party's dominant position. So why don't they renounce them and cut off their funding and let them try to run under their own 3rd party instead of hiding within the Republican party. I'll bet if they had to stand on their own they wouldn't last be able to try this crap.

    October 6, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  20. Mary

    No Cruz is not working or sent by the Canadian Government, in fact he was kicked out from them that's why he left canada
    Now it's up to us to do the same thing.

    October 6, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Ted Cruz is destroying the Republican party. I am ashamed he is from my state.

    October 6, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. nvmature

    Where does the Republican Party keep finding these loons?

    October 6, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  23. SteveO

    Cruz is absolutely right on that point about leverage.
    The Dems do a better job of leveraging points of disagreement against the GOP than the GOP does against the Dems. The Dems always try to tie unrelated things together so as to get the greatest amount of negotiating leverage on the greatest number of points. This is basic hard core negotiating, that the GOP old line establishment does not do very well. The old line GOP folks think they should be gentlemanly or something, whereas the Dems are ruthless and have no qualms about how they accomplish their goals.
    Politics is war. It's not a gentlemanly contest of debating points - it's war. It is like military war. It's like lawsuits and litigation.
    Ted Cruz understands this and gets it.
    The people who criticize Cruz are partly Dems who realize how effective Cruz can be, and partly old time Republicans who think he should be more complacent and agreeable, and who think he shouldn't make waves and ruffle feathers. But he is there to make waves and to ruffle feathers. In the current political climate of polarization, it's the only way to advance one's agenda.

    October 6, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  24. Alan

    As a life-long Republican, I have to admit this guy is beginning to scare me. There is a growing intransigence in both parties, but I have to admit Republicans come out looking much worse.

    October 6, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  25. Hawk in Texas

    This sorry s.o.b. is all for protecting the insurance companys and their costly greed. he is typical of the far right wing of the republican tea party. protect the corporations and the super rich at all costs.even if it means destroying the country. if some cooler (saner) heads do not get some control back, then the people like cruz and those backing him will be the death of the republican party. and this cuban canadian damn sure is not a Texan.

    October 6, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
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