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. Amarjeet

    It looks as he is destroying Republic party as well tea party objectives. He is clueless with no alternatives only talk of a political talent if he is. If he wants to do and make others follow, he has to present viable, workable and real solutions. He does not present only promise of plan with no positive vision for American people.

    October 6, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. Steve K

    Here's a letter I just posted on the GOP website:
    "I am a moderate liberal independent votor. I support Obama, but not Obamacare(I never vote for a cadnidate with the expectation that that person to do everything according to my wishes). I recently became aware that Hillary Clinton is likely to get the Democratic PResidential nomination in 2016. I find her to be the most unappealing of completely false career politicians. Needless to say, these next upcoming years would be a great time for the Republican Party to present an innovative, sensible, moderate Presidential candidate.

    I no longer see that as a possibility. The Republican Party has, in all my years of memory, had it's share of right-wing zealots, the Pat Buchanons, David Dukes, and Pat Robertsons. These extremists often made a lot of noise, but they had always been kept in check by the larger Republican majority – the sensible moderates. Recent events have made it clear to me the the GOP no longers exists as a functioning political party. It's now the Tea Party – the religious extremists are now in charge.

    The only thing that scares me more than a future US run completely by Democrats, with Republicans almost completely absent, is one controlled by the Tea Party. So in 2014 and for the foreseeable future, when I see (R) for Republican, I have to assume it means (T) for Tea Party. And I have to select (D).

    I vote in the I-4 corridor which, in my understanding, is still a "battleground area", perhaps one of the most important voting regions in the country since Florida will continue to play a key role in upcoming natinal elections. I sincerely hope that the sensible, moderate Republicans reclaim their party, and once again become the voice of the GOP."

    October 6, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. alexanderaalekhine

    Congress has the power to make spending decisions, but once they have decided to spend, they cannot decide not to pay the bill. The Republicans are confused about how this works.

    October 6, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. getonem

    That is the way Gov't works. There are three equal parts of our Gov't(House, Senate, and Executive). The House is doing what most of America believes. The House is called the People's House By design, and they are listening to us. Cruz is right in standing up for Middle Class Americans! Thank you GOP and Cruz!!

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

    Keep talking Ted Cruz, it will ultimately be your downfall. It's too bad that the GOP leadership has lost it's backbone.

    October 6, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  6. Tag9

    Ted Cruz is the Anti-Christ

    October 6, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  7. T E X A S

    Cruz (fake Texan) uses a pretty dummied down political argument. Full of inoperative statements as well.

    October 6, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  8. sam barber

    Rafael, you still don't get it. Texas was stupid enough to vote for you, but you don't even represent most Texans now.

    October 6, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  9. Chuck

    Obama can fund the government by executive order if our national security is at risk during wartime. It's a provision of the patriot act. Ted Cruz can shove it.

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

    Another poster earlier mentioned a show on the SyFy network called "Continuum". (it's also on Netflix) She's right about it being a cautionary tale about what will happen when the corporations control the country. It really is scary.

    October 6, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. poet231

    No one is more surprised than is this oleaginous used car salesman at the attention he is getting. He sits there in his shiny little boots and waves his tiny little hands, and people like Crowley listen to him as if he has something to say. Candy you are as insubstantial as your silly name.

    October 6, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  12. charles bowen

    Republicans are Public Enemy No.1 ....What Would Jesus Do ? Vote Em Out ! Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    October 6, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. NamePhyllis from Texas

    Ted Cruz is a FRESMAN congressman from Texas with no experience in public office and too young to have any real life experience. Why anyone would put any stock in anything he has to say is beyond me. It just shows how seriously lacking the Republican Party is for leadership. Sad state of affairs for The Grand Ole Party!! Where are the leaders that have some common sense and tell the truth? No way will they ever win a general election with these crazy people running the party. The American people are not ALL stupid!!!!

    October 6, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. Bev

    Cruz takes a page from Romney's campaign mantra – lie when the truth is blatantly obvious to everyone. The shutdown is about protecting the interest of insurance companies whose huge profits line the Republican campaign coffers. It is the out of touch Tea Party and Republicans destroying our country for their self centered agendas.

    October 6, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. rdbeard

    All those in favor of not raising the debt ceiling should go to their employers and tell them they do not need to be paid for their work. Since their paycheck is a debt incurred by their employer, why should the employer have to pay them. Oh, you don't like this idea? Are you starting to understand that no matter whether it is your employer, your city, your state, your country or you, one must pay their bills?

    October 6, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. vote him out

    I guess the house forgot they voted for Obamacare a few years ago. Now they are trying to be the heros. Maybe they should have thought about how much their games would cost the tax prayers. You are now paying millions of dollars in federal workers pay that want to work but are forbidden by law to do so, you will pay for the overtime it takes those federal workers to catch up, you will pay for the contracts the government had plus a penalty for not filling the contract, private business will suffer because federal workers are cutting back on spending or unable to pay their bills not knowing when they will be paid again, private businesses that rely on government services or inspections will shut down, etc... Make no mistake the shutdown effects you even if you don't work for the government.

    Remember Mr. Cruz's name and all they money he has cost you so you can vote him OUT OF OFFICE! He is counting on you to forget.

    October 6, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    He comes from a country that has national healthcare.
    The majority of Americans voted/wanted ACA – he represents the 2% and is ruining the other 98%.
    I work in healthcare, and have for over 20 years, ACA will NOT ruin the healthcare system!
    This man is really d^mb!

    October 6, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  18. Mary

    Most Texans don't vote and don't participate in the political process. It is a shame that they don't care because thanks to their inaction we have anarchists like Cruz and the baggers that are very willing to destroy the country just for political gain. Cruz was elected by a minority of voters because the majority sit out and let the crazies run the asylum. I hope Americans learn their lesson and get more involved so they don't elect ambitious and political opportunists like Cruz.

    October 6, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. jeffersonnunn

    Only someone like Senator Cruz would use the American people - his own people - as leverage in some egotistical 'battle'. That is to say, if some people are hurt or killed, then that is collateral damage. Is he a Senator for the American People or is he a Terrorist?

    If a Terrorist were to use people in a battle, they would be vilified and hunted down. If a Senator does the same, he is on CNN and expects to be worshiped.

    October 6, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. Akasonny

    Texas? What were you thinking by electing Cruz?

    October 6, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. V

    To Vijay: I think you must way to much Faux Noise and right wing propaganda (aka The Perpetual Outrage Machine). Obamacare was not "rammed down throats", it was approved by the majority of the house at the time. Republicans ran in the last presidential election on a platform of killing it.. they failed miserably. So the gibberish you are spouting is just that gibberish.

    October 6, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. No Name

    Watch out, if anyone from TEA PARTY says they want to reduce deficit. We can reduce deficit by requiring Earned income tax on CARRIED interest, rather than giving the TEA PARTY sponsors the preferential tax rate of capital Gains

    October 6, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  23. Alan

    In real world terms, Sen. Cruz says: "We haven't been able to use democracy to stop this bill that was lawfully enacted, upheld in court, and then applied, so now we will become fascist and impose our will on everyone because we think we are right, no matter what the majority of our party or our nation says, nor do we care about the consequences everyone will face." Sounds a little fubar to me.

    October 6, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  24. J Carver

    Ted Cruz is one nut. Maybe he would have been better off hijacking an airplane and hold the passengers as hostages. That is the same thing he is doing with the government and the American people. Texas has a bunch of nuts like him in Texas and it makes me ashamed to live in Texas. I don't want to wish him any hard luck but I wish his plane would crash.

    October 6, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  25. Lenny Pincus

    Another winger goofball running in Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli, refused to get his picture taken with Cruz last night. Rats abandoning a sinking ship.

    October 6, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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