October 6th, 2013
11:16 AM ET
7 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. GetReal

    Nice job Candy...Let him bury himself

    October 6, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. Relictus

    The problem larger than the debt ceiling is the debt itself. Obamacare and the debt ceiling are smaller issues than dealing with the increasingly large national debt. The Democrats at least want to take the first rational step, which is raise the ceiling for the short term. Eventually, cuts will be made – and if we do not make cuts, our CREDITORS eventually will. I am not looking forward to foreign nations dictating how we will repay our debts.

    October 6, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. Tom Blier

    I suggest implementing new rules for Congress. I propose that each year they be required to take a class in basic arithmetic, a class in ethics and finally a class in morals. Lastly, there would be no bell curve on the exam and to keep their jobs they would need to score 85% or better.

    October 6, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. rob

    No Matt this guy will go down in history of destroying the gop, economy and credit rating. I bet the stock msrket will take a big dump on monday

    October 6, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  5. glen

    2014 will be the year that these tea bag terrorists are voted out and sent packing.

    October 6, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. Josh Daver

    We need brave independent people like Senator Ted Cruz who are willing to challenge this current administration.

    October 6, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. ab77

    Ron L...

    Your first mistake is assuming the interviewer has journalistic skill. We live in an age where info-tainment rules and journalism / integrity / truth are no longer important.

    October 6, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  8. David

    Why does Cruz and a few of his friends get to decide which government employee is laid off and not paid or which government services are important? He would pay only those that are high profile or the military. What about the rest? I guest they do not count. Does he propose to compensate all the private sector employees who are laid off, the single parent employee who needs the job and income? Why does Cruz and his friends get to decide which government debt and obligations are honoured and which are not? Where do they get this authority?

    October 6, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  9. Chris

    History is never kind to extremists. People keep saying Cruz is a smart man. He doesn't appear to be.

    October 6, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. vr45

    Ted Cruz and Al Shabaab look very similar.

    October 6, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. Minnie Mouse

    Someone needs to bring Cruz up to reality in the importance of the "Affordable Care Act". Parts of this law have been in effect since 2010. He can't continually say that it's hurting people when it has already been helping millions. If it wasn't for this law, all children with pre-existing conditions would not be getting the care, treatments and medications ect.... needed.

    Millions of peoples lives depend on health care. Health care is an important aspect is everyone's life, whether people believe it or not. A person has no clue when an accident will happen or a diagnosis of an illness will happen. Both of these two could be life altering changes in a persons life to where medical attention is vital to have, or the person will not get the care needed.

    If you can't pay for your health then you file bankruptcy, lose your home, lose your job because your not taking care of your health, lose your life, become disabled or dump the costs upon the tax payers. Anything can happen! It is necessary for everyone to have health care not only that it is the responsible thing to do to take care of yourself. No one is going to do it for you!!

    The government needs to just defund all of the tax payers wasteful spending. The Affordable Care Act, is not the problem. This should get everything back up and running in no time. It shouldn't take long if you look at the huge list of what your blowing our tax payers dollars on. As citizens, we don't need a list because the inter-net pretty much explains it all. If we can see it then why doesn't everyone in the government see it.

    We are not the ones wasting our tax payers dollars. We are the responsible ones who do what is asked upon us to pay in taxes and then in return we expect our government to act responsible with our hard earned dollars. I don't feel that is to much for anyone to ask for in return.

    You can't just do what you want, when you want and how you want, and have no budget. There is no budget on anything. This is exactly why our government is shut down. This has been going on for the past several years and it a lousy business practice and it does not work, and never will!

    October 6, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. Bucktooth

    Hard to believe one creepy man can attempt to hold up law! If the shoe was on the other foot..then we would see him squirming! A sad thing to see..this is your leadership!! The end of the GOP!!

    October 6, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. ZARAND

    This guy is a terorist, no more no less! In jail with this Cruz before is too late!

    October 6, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. Name Justice K.Appiah.

    Crux should relized that America Politics is not a football game!

    October 6, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. KWW

    Obamacare would destroy the private health care system? BRING IT ON!!! The private healthcare system SUCKS! It sucks the life and money out of every person for the greedy insurance executives! Republicans can't control their extremists.

    October 6, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. Betsy

    Sen. Cruz–the dumbing down of America incarnate.

    October 6, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  17. elucidated1

    There is an incredible irony that the GOP would allow Ted the Canadian Cruz to take over their party and put the 2016 Presidential election at risk. Yeah, they might do well with their base in 2014 but after that, the Republicans and Boehner have cast their lot with a narcissistic Jr. Senator from Texas. . and the Democrats cannot thank them enough.

    October 6, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  18. don in albuquerque

    Texas-Please secede.

    October 6, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. R Saunders

    Its a disgrace to the united states to hire someone like Candy Crowley on State of the union

    October 6, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  20. john brown

    I love Ted Cruz....he has it all right. Time to reel in the fiscally irresponsible executive.

    October 6, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  21. Ctrygrl

    Is this jerk for real!!! Look at the people flocking to the health exchanges. Given the state of private health care in this country we should be so lucky that the ACA would destroy it. No it wont but it does have a good chance of being a vehicle to vastly improve it. Thinning the ranks of the uninsured will allow a more reasonable treatment system than the incredibly wasteful emergency room model we have now. Mr. Cruz preaches anarchy then votes with the democrats. A typical cowardly despot only too happy to throw the pawns (read house members) under the bus.

    October 6, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  22. maldeguerre

    This wild and crazy guy is flying by the very seat of his pants, he's improvising on the fly. When he comes to the "crash and burn" finale of his daredevil aerial stunts, do we as a Nation want to be on board?

    October 6, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  23. Steve

    Ted's comments suggest he is completely clueless about the damage he and the Tea-party crowd have done to this country by insisting on a very narrow, me-first, got mine and you're on your own political agenda. This agenda is not necessarily new, but what is of concern is they're willingness to blow everything up to poke Obama in the eye. The strength of our American democracy is-have your opinion, make your best case, be willing to compromise to achieve the general good...and make it WORK. Ted and John Boehner's approach to resolving this crisis is hugely naïve and temporary... they will shortly (as soon as 2014) fade into political obscurity because most fair-minded Americans recognize them for what they are-political obstructionists. I also want spending restraint, low taxes but I also want my neighbor to have affordable access to health care and our current system sucks. Of course improvements to ACA will be needed...it is ridiculously complex (hmm, wonder why?) But let's move on and work together to improve it.

    October 6, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  24. The Bible is a badly written book of fairy tales

    I guess two elections, 40+ failed votes and a failed Supreme Court challenge just can't convince this guy that the American people want the Affordable Care Act.

    October 6, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  25. NameLindaHardge

    Ted Cruz is a complete fool! Enough said!

    October 6, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
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