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. Sueb

    As one of those people who is "far too worried about politics", I'd just like to say that Ted Cruz and his ilk are 90% what's wrong with government!

    P.S.–Cruz needs to be committed!

    October 6, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  2. Sunnysmom

    If I were Reince Preibus, my head would be spinning and I would be spitting pea soup. For God's sake, get ahold of your party, man...you will NEVER win the white house with this goon out talking.

    October 6, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. John

    Good luck on that. You couldn't even get done anything this week or last week or the last 6 months. Now you are trying to get something done in 11 days. Must have a large staff speed writing and you also must be a speed reader. Lets see your plan now and let us judge how long you last in office.

    October 6, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. Jenny Hines

    Lets keep this simple. Next time Cruz runs for office tell him what we think of him.

    October 6, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. TKO

    “The debt ceiling historically has been among the best leverage that Congress has to rein in the executive," Cruz said?

    This seals it: Cruz is a complete moron who knows nothing about the history of the govt that employs him–the debt ceiling has NEVER been used to "leverage" the president. That is the particular insanity of the GOP–pass a budget then refuse to pay for the money already spent, all the while thinking that is the way the govt has "historically" been run.

    October 6, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  6. garwin1

    Ted Cruz, Cuba needs you.

    October 6, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. Beni

    Unbelievable that one freshman Senator has this much power over all the old farts.

    October 6, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  8. JayH

    Vijay, How embarrassing your comment is to you. Your improper use of the semicolon and misspellings are a sad statement to people posting comments.

    October 6, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  9. Jon Samuel

    #2 should read – lower taxes to foster economic growth (not just hold the line against new taxes)

    October 6, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  10. Max

    Cruz said that letting Obamacare go further into effect "would destroy the private health care system." Maybe the ACA isn't flawless but at least it's better than the system of denial of service that we had before. Maybe they should spend their time trying to improve the ACA instead of going back to giving the insurance companies free reign over our healthcare.

    October 6, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  11. David

    Ted cruz is a lawyer and and should know ( we hope) what happens when a law is upheld by the supreme court = it is the law of the land. ted cruz doesn't even like nhis own race...whats ted? why not Rafael the name he was born with? lets vote this self hating POS back to the hell hole he crawled out of!

    October 6, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. MT

    I awas a staunch repablican. But not after this. There are ways to bring about change. Not by taking us to the brink of distruction again and again and again.. I will never vote for a republican ever again.

    October 6, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  13. Amin Jiwani

    He seems to be serving our enemies – they want to destroy us and make us laughing stock in the world community , and that is what he is doing- God Bless USA

    October 6, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. Sol

    You can tell he is a junior Senator and inexperienced. Just what does ACA have to do with honoring debts that were backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S.?

    October 6, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. SenatorCruz_is NOTan American!

    @ notogop – you are wrong: Raphael Ted Cruz is from Canada. He was born there and came to the US at a young age. He is NOT even a real Texan!

    He is a foreigner who hates the US and wants to bring down this government and the country. I wonder if he was told that the US persecuted his people back in the day, and this might be his revenge. Some cultures do not forget past injustices.

    Perhaps bringing down the US government is Senator Cruz's revenge for Mexico's defeat and the US take over of Texas after the Alamo???

    Why are these questions not coming up in the GOP and the Tea Party? After the kinds of questions that came up about Obama and his African father and his "socialist" ideas, these are valid questions!

    October 6, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. Mike

    Haven't heard of Ted Cruz until the current election cycle; 2012-now. He's another Manchurian candidate just like Obama. Demand better candidates!

    October 6, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  17. tet1953

    I think Cruz is just trying to be as radical and contrary as possible. Some delusions about the future I suppose. His time in the spotlight is about over though. The party and the nation just won't tolerate it much longer.

    October 6, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  18. Steve

    Hopefully this guy runs for president so it's a slam dunk win for the Democrats.

    October 6, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  19. RockInD

    Why is this leverage for the GOP. Why do they think the Democrats need the CR more than they do?

    October 6, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  20. raul

    this guy just might be a cuban spy. trying to get into our government.

    October 6, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  21. Jody P

    This will never work because it is no longer about the country and policies but about destroying one person, period. Cruz insists the ACA is so damaging to the country yet he is willing to do far more and lasting damage to the country to stop it. What sense does that make? They whine how it was "rammed down their throat." Ha, Ha they should come here to Wisconsin where there is a republican super majority at the state level and everything is rammed through with no thought except how it will benefit the politicians and their donors, most from out of state. This is considered the role model the republicans are working for every where. We have some of the most poorly crafted laws ever because they don't go through any kind of discussion, etc. The republican party are fools that would cut off their nose....

    October 6, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. Mary

    Cruz and the baggers live under tons of rocks. They just care about themselves. As long as the shutdown doesn't affect them, in other words as long as they are paid and have money the rest of Americans can pound sand. And they have the nerve to blame President Obama and the democrats when they are the ones that hate the government and are very happy with the shutdown.

    October 6, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. Ideas, Ideals, not ideologies

    Did he say that "but I also think far too many people are worried about poli tics"? If anyone had any doubt as to what the agenda is now you. The puppet masters of tea party wants americans to stop worrying about politics so that they can proceed with destroying the working class in the rest of the country.

    October 6, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  24. Kurt

    Cruz is an extortionist. Plain and simple.

    October 6, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  25. TKO

    Apparently a lot of folks responding here still do not know what the debt ceiling is: it is very like the spending limit on your credit card. You can call and have your limit increased (and if your credit is good, this usually poses little problem), but calling AmEx and saying, "look, you can raise my credit card limit only if I refuse to pay my last bill" will get you thrown in the looney bin. THIS MAKES NO SENSE!

    October 6, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
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