October 6th, 2013
11:16 AM ET
11 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. James

    ACA is destoying America and the private health care system? In the five days since implementation began? Really? Or are these the ravings of an unqualified joke(ster)?

    October 6, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. tednugent'sdiapers

    1. Ban the Republican Party
    2. Let the red states secede
    3. Form two separate nations

    Problem solved!

    October 6, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. Lawless4u

    Sometimes republicans make sense. Like when they say things like, reign in spending and not create new taxes but then they lose ALL credibility when they say things like "mitigate the harm from Obamacare".

    What harm? Making sure every American has access to healthcare?

    October 6, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. Terry

    Cruz is a selfish moron and it is a crime to see news outlets give this a–hole any coverage at all. He represents no one except himself.

    It is time for the President to address the illegal, subversive, terroristic and destructive tactics of Cruz and his co-conspirators trying to bring down our country by directly fighting fire with fire and declaring a legitimate state of national emergency, issuing executive orders raising the debt limit reopening the total Govt. and re-establishing one voter and one vote democracy by ordering the Justice Dept. to file suit against any state which has tried to fix voting patterns by gerrymandering shamelessly to try to put themselves in power forever against the majority will of the people and subvert democracy. I am completely serious about the above before Tea Party anarchists succeed in committing national suicide for the 99% of us.

    October 6, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. steve hanssen

    we get someone who recognises that we must start doing something about the national debt and most of the people commenting think he is nuts and thats why our nation is in trouble.you liberals have traded the truth for a lie just as fortold
    and there is no longer anyway to argue with you because you believe the very lies you put out there.christians we need to pray
    because only God can help us now

    October 6, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. Sugarmama

    This was a wasted slot for the show today, listening to this goof ball was just unbelievably sickening. Anyone who takes Cruz seriously has major mental issues.

    October 6, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  7. alexanderaalekhine

    The shutdown is a good thing because it harms the Republicans and exposes them (yet again) as the crazies they are. We must all put up with the temporary pain of the shutdown, for the greater good of further damaging the Republican brand.

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

    Repubs are against everything. No positive contributions. Could make everything better, but don't want to do that.

    October 6, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. JohnRJohnson

    One has to wonder why CNN or any other reputable news organization would give this narcissistic lunatic a platform to stand on spew his idiotic slogans and remarks.

    October 6, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  10. Thom

    Today, new polling shows that the shutdown has made 19 Republican seats vulnerable. 17 are needed to take back the House!

    October 6, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. Edgard Fueller

    This guy is a taliban of the worse kind. This is not responsible governing. This is like a union saying if you don´t give us a rise we will destroy the factory.

    October 6, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. Wanderer

    Rising tax the riches, fighting the inflation, and providing healthcare to workers, it's the solution.

    October 6, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. Missourian

    Maybe its time we all got our money out of the banks now. This man is about to cost us all our savings and 401K funds.Across the board.
    Seems we have till Oct 17.
    Maybe those stupid doomsday prep show weren't so stupid after all.

    October 6, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. revo-lou

    Why is this fool still getting air time? Are ratings worth this much?

    October 6, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  15. CNN-NEWS

    You heard it here first and it's official, the Republican party will reopen the government and default on the debt ceiling to try and stop Obama care.

    October 6, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. alexanderaalekhine

    The shutdown is a good thing because it exposes the Republicans (yet again) as the crazies they are. They hate anyone who is not white and rich. We should all accept the temporary pain of the shutdown, because it further damages the Republican brand.

    October 6, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. Missourian

    Where does the Republican Party keep finding these loons?

    Texas. They seem to all come from Texas

    October 6, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  18. Bryan

    The affordable healthcare act passed both houses of Congress. I am against it, but it is law. Time to fund it and move on. What Cruz and his ilk haven't mentioned is the other issues they and their conservative kind are willing to hold the government hostage: women's abortion rights, gay rights (or the removal thereof), civil rights? Almost certainly this precedent, should it become one, will be used by them again and again.

    Goldman Sachs has estimated that 9 percent of GDP would be wiped out if the debt ceiling is held hostage as the Tea Party will likely do. The government is a huge part of the economy, one third funded by debt. While I agree that it needs to be scaled back, the sudden contraction caused by the lack of funds will wipe out wealth in this nation on a scale unimaginable as the stock market crashes, home values plummet and industries contract.

    Were a terrorist to achieve such a thing the nation would spare no expense bringing him or her to justice. But Ted Cruz will receive a paycheck from the US government and its taxpayers for doing exactly that.

    I will never forget this, and I will never again vote for a Republican.

    October 6, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. david

    republican=irrelevant waited all my life to that come true just didn't think they would do it to themselves!

    October 6, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  20. reldra

    Yes, find more and more ways to undermine the government- if it has Obama's name on it- but if it makes republicans look good then they are all for it.

    October 6, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  21. lbdukeep

    This is MUTINY! He's trying to overthrow our government. He's a freshman legislator and he's trying to overthrow the American Government. Need to absolutely stop him! TAR AND FEATHER HIM AND RUN HIM OUT OF THE COUNTRY!

    October 6, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  22. Dan LaVigne

    Maybe we need a major disaster to happen in Washington DC. One that puts the life's of the Congress in jeopardy
    Once they see that they must look over their shoulder every time they put the screws to the American people then and only then will they start doing what is good for the people not the party

    October 6, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  23. Quixote

    So...........the tearrorists think that destroying the world economy is a reasonable tool on their quest to deny tens of millions of Americans health insurance......

    You could call them stupid, that dangerously unhinged is mor accurate.

    October 6, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  24. judith

    Can the Republicans get any more delusional. The collective I.Q. of those who vote them must be right around room temperature.

    October 6, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  25. david

    Ted Cruz is just another nut from nut country voted into office by the nuts who live there!

    October 6, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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