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. Oofy Prosser

    "No. 1, we should look for some significant structural plan and reduce government spending."
    OK, you can do that without holding other programs hostage and refusing to change your mind about that.

    " No. 2, we should avoid new taxes"
    OK, just increase fees enough to cover your wasteful ways.

    "and No. 3, we should look for ways to mitigate the harm from Obamacare."
    Well, the major harm from Obamacare is to your reputation! Trying to kill that, without an alternative, makes it look as if you don't care about the health of the poor, the old, and those with "pre-conditions." You could, for instance, support an expansion of Medicaid, Reduce Medicare Part B costs, etc., instead of just trying to kill off the ACA.

    October 6, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  2. Carl Hudson

    I've got an idea. There are by most estimates about 12 million illegals in our country. I believe there are about the same number of Tea Party "patriots." Let's switch them. Make the illegals legal and send the our "patriots" to Mexico and under places in need of their revolutionary zeal. America would be a better place.

    October 6, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  3. Phillip Bunnell

    Good God, how slimy can one guy get? Americans had better hope and pray that this man never achieves any kind of authority or power because if he does they will surely rue the day. He has no shame and no conscience. He will destroy anything or anybody to further his own ambitions.

    October 6, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  4. pat

    If the republicans have such great ideas for health care for the American people put it out there on all these talk shows. Put it in the public sphere!

    October 6, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  5. Jim Michaels

    Ted Cruz has succinctly and correctly outlined the only reasonable position for the party that was elected by the people determine which initiatives are funded. For you liberals, he graduated from Harvard.

    October 6, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  6. 22

    My 401k is finally recovering after the 2008 nosedive,I have friends who lost their jobs as a result of the financial meltdown back at work again,I know many college graduates including my own child who got jobs right after graduating,I see bridges being repaired around my city,construction of new houses have begun again in the developments around where I live,contractors/ handymen once again have more work than they can handle,my neighbor across the street got his house sold this time only weeks after it went on the market.We're finally getting back on our feet and this arrogant bozo and his illiterate followers want to pull us down again!There will be hell to pay if the republicans attempt to destroy this economy with their selfish narrow minded views.Enough of this extortionist party,we will send them packing in 2014.A crazed few should not be allowed to hold the rest of the country the world even hostage!

    October 6, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  7. Buckwheat

    So he thinks he is going to "mitigate the harm from Obamacare". Who will mitigate the harm from shutting down the government and forcing the country's credit rating to be lowered again? That action alone will increase the debt these TPs claim is their issue with everything the President does. Let's let these TPs opt out of taxes and all the benifits that come with them. No mail, no FCC controlled TV or internet, cannot use public roads, call the police or fire department, no banking and no social security or medicare, no utilities, no gas because big oil gets tax breaks, no investments because they are regulated by the SEC. Give them an island and let them have their no government paradise. I'm sure they will love the stone age.

    October 6, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. Solitairedog

    He's willing to sacrifice all of us to have his way. Next it will be "resign Mr. President or we will destroy the country?" Frankly I think it would be just as valid if they put these terrorists into Gitmo, post haste.

    October 6, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Questions401

    In our democratic republic we require the majority of votes to defund, remove or delay a law, Ted Cruz and his ilk do not have the votes so they are taking the American people hostage in order to get what they want. The removal of this law would in fact be a death sentence for a great many people with severe illness, they would be denied coverage or dropped the instant the law is removed, so this really is true terrorism! Americans do not negotiate with terrorists!

    October 6, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. Rembrant

    "Cruz doesn't think his actions have taken a negative toll on his party's image." WOW, if this isn't the epitome of myopia, nothing is. Most senior Republicans (i.e. experienced) think his antics have devastated the party. Mindboggling, how this Greenhorn continues to have a say.
    "But I also think far too many people are worried about politics." Correct, because if more people worried about his politics, then more people would see through his BS and disagree with him. One of the biggest problems in America is that too many people are oblivious about what is going on around them. Complacency is killing the US. For Tea-Partiers, public ignorance, fear-mongering and stupidity is their only way to gain power... all at the expense of the Republican party.

    October 6, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  11. hotstuff

    oh teddy. still risking a government economy over a private insurance plan. keep it up teddy. we love you for you will flip the house.

    October 6, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. Tucson Attorney

    Harm from the ACA. Let's see now. More people on the insurance rolls means fewer visits to the emergency room (most expensive cost) in favor of regular visits to a doctor (cheaper costs). Medical problems will be discovered before they become serious – i.e. treated at a lower cost. What else – how about peace of mind for millions of Americans who do not have to go bankrupt because of medical bills. What else, how about reduced suffering for millions of Americans do not have to endure pain and suffering until it gets so bad they have to visit an emergency room. What else – how about reduced medical costs for all of us as we will not have to pay for all the medical care for the least wealthy among us -now that cost will be shared with a very highly profitable insurance company. I would think the Republicans, being good Christians, every one, would embrace this. Now when people get shot from all the guns in American hands thanks to the NRA, they will be able to get medical care and we all will not have to pay for it. Win-win.

    October 6, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  13. loki

    Ted Cruz doesn't need your approval. He represents ME and I AM TEA PARTY. He is doing EXACTLY what he promised to do and that is express the view of our group. Get over it. I am not leaving and I want some things done to my liking...... :)
    That goes for you soft shell republicans too.

    October 6, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    have the president mint a 1 trillion dollar coin and deposit into the treasury then avoid all those idiots holding the country hostage

    October 6, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. deee510

    How can these liars say they're opposing the ACA for the AMerican people when we voted in Obama who campained for ACA.the republicans are doing this for revenge to the AMerican people for voting for a black man.but their hatred will be their down fall because they have no shamr and are not discreet with their b.s. their character is disclosed.

    October 6, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  16. Larry B.

    Pendejo Cruz is nuts. That's the only way to put it. It's disgusting how much shame he has brought to the GOP but also to America and her people. But then, as a traitor and anarchist, it's all part and parcel to his motivation.

    October 6, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  17. T E X A S

    Republicans should not even have a House majority. Thanks to re-districting they do. And this is what you get.

    October 6, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  18. Katie

    Amazing that people like Cruz can find so many ways to be obstructionist – which will prove to be far, far more costly than any of the supposed extra cost of the Affordable Care Act – with absolutely nothing to show for it. They have no leverage here This coming election will be a real eye opener for the party of NO and their most extreme members.

    October 6, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  19. Yooper57

    Texas, Alaska......that's where they find the loons! Lord he is an idiot.

    October 6, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  20. Sam

    To the anti-Americans.. What a bunch of loons you are ! People wake up ! The GOP has told the President that we will fund everything but hold or delay Obama care for the reasons that everyone is concerned just read the damn articles of what's going on with the new law, enrollment issues etc...but your President and your loon Harry said NO..unless you fund 100% of what we've asked..So who is responsible for this mess? Have you voted for Obama care? do you want it? all these and other issues need to be answered before you go on blaming Cruz and the GOP..

    October 6, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  21. Suzy Mack

    I like and admire Ted Cruz. Thank you. You deliver.

    October 6, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  22. ghostwriter

    "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 harm from Obamacare."

    I love how the GOP thinks it's good policy to introduce these demands weeks before. Nothing like negotiating with the clock running out. Not that this is much of a plan. cut spending, avoid raising taxes and Obamacare. Same song, different day.

    October 6, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  23. NorCalMojo

    Are people still alternating between panic and denial?

    Like it or not, they won their seats and can vote how they like. Dismissing them or calling them names isn't going to help. It's time to grow up and negotiate. All they want is a budget with cuts. That's not unreasonable.

    Namecalling and threats is unreasonable.

    October 6, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  24. luzzionz2013

    OMG and this man was elected ? by sane Americans ? oh wait.. it was Texan's bigger n dumber is not what we need more or Texas !!! use the Debt Ceiling to stop what you can't stop with elections and making new laws ???? he didn't really graduate from Princeton or Harvard did he .. its some bizarro world forgery . an educated man with any sense of right and wrong would never propose such lunacy !! honestly he is NUTZ..

    October 6, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  25. Boohincus

    THIS is what the tea party represents? Default blackmail? Let's hope every aspect of Cruz's life and career is a fail from here on out. He deserves the worst in everything.

    October 6, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
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