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. JBent

    Start IMPEACHMENT against anyone refusing to raise the debt ceiling

    October 6, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  2. Tappy Mcwidestance

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

    Only since 2010. Before that there was never any extortion from the minority party to try to extract things they can not pass legislatively. Thankfully with President Obama in charge the deficit has been cut in half since W left office. Just like when Clinton had to clean up after Reagan/Bush, the fiscally conservative Democrats have had to clean up a Republican mess.

    October 6, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. McCrackin

    Tea Party Republicans again are making it clear that they represent big business only...Once these nutball Senators get into office, they post a "for rent" sign on their office door and do the bidding of whomever pays them for their services.
    When are the American people going to wake up.This is not capitalism it's corporatism. Senators should only be allowed to serve 4 year terms before migrating to whatever board of the corporation they have been silently working for.

    October 6, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. jacky

    Cruz is a national traitor, threatening the US.

    October 6, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. Whitley

    This guy is trying to ruin our economy. I want to see his birth certificate. I bet he's not American.

    October 6, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. jake

    Go away back to Canada you worm.

    October 6, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Roger Jones

    Ted Cruz is a bully and doesn't care about truth and lie; right and wrong or what the law is. He only cares about being in front of the cameras, power, and his own ego. He doesn't care about the impact of what he does on other people and their lives. The only thing he knows how to do is to spout off talking points and keep talking over anyone else until he gets his childish way. I have seen too much of the hubris and burn down the government approach from the Tea Party nut cases. One only hopes that their Hubris will destroy them before they destroy the United States of America.

    October 6, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. Taliban GOP

    Economic terrorist cell leader Cruz is only interested in reducing spend on the people of America. More the 2/3rd of the spending goes to Wars, defense and pork belly initiatives like building battleships and battletanks that the navy and army do not want. Cruz doesn't want to spend on schools and health care. He rather the kids die then to cut back spending on pork belly for his brothers.

    October 6, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. sweepster

    The weeper of the house just said the same thing, I guess he was just repeating what "speaker" Cruz wants. Lets lower the credit rating again boys then you can give your banker buddies more interest on spending you already authorized. We can pay more for absolutely nothing. Will you the raise the debt limit if the money goes to your bankers instead of all the deadbeats? Sure you will, do us all a favor and resign en mass.

    October 6, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. griffina

    . . . This just in: As a contingency plan, tea party activists will seize a bus of elementary school children and a yet-to-be determined number of puppies and kittens with the intent of using them as "leverage." Sheesh. These guys are real patriots.!

    October 6, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  11. Tom Toth

    Tell you Repub politicians at all levels, local, county, state and national,that you will vote to remove them from office. The repubs need to be out out o business.,

    October 6, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. Casual Observer

    Is it must me or does this guy's look remind you of Bill Murray? Is it because, like BIll Murray, what comes out of his mouth is ridiculously funny?

    October 6, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  13. patty

    why is he being allowed to get away with causing this chaos? Why is nobody stopping him?

    October 6, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  14. dbednarik

    This guy is a self-serving showboat at the expense of the American people - should hang him from a tree in front of the White House.

    October 6, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. jerry carver

    Ted Cruz is a nut. Maybe he would have better luck hijacking an airplane and holding the passengers hostage to get what he wants. That is the same thing he is doing with the government and the American people. People like him make me ashamed I am feom Texas.

    October 6, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. ib1sage

    Are we sure that the Republicans are not spiking their Tea with LSD? They have so many delusional members that there has to be a reason they are so wacky.

    Vote the Tea?Republicans out and save our Republic from internal destruction.

    October 6, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  17. penguin

    Balance the budget by raising taxes on unearned income. Those that make money from the efforts of others should pay a higher tax rate than those whose income come from their work.

    October 6, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  18. bob

    why does anyone care what cruz has to say? he is a canadian!

    October 6, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  19. joe smith

    T ed Cruz is a one termer

    October 6, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  20. sweepster

    The weeper of the house just said the same thing, I guess he was just repeating what "speaker" Cruz wants. Lets lower the credit rating again boys then you can give your banker buddies more interest on spending you already authorized. We can pay more for absolutely nothing. Will you the raise the debt limit if the money goes to your bankers instead of all the poor? Sure you will, do us all a favor and resign en mass.

    October 6, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  21. GG in San Diego

    oh, great. another cliff the republicans want to jump off, another battle they can't win, another far right position that will continue to wreck havoc on the economy and the 99.9% of us who aren't in congress. cruz, please, just shut up.

    October 6, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  22. ib1sage

    Try this wack for sedition and see how they like it. Cruz belongs in an asylum and not in the Senate.

    I will never vote for a Republican again! Crash and Burn Republican/Tea Party wackos!

    October 6, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  23. Hikertom

    If Republicans want to repeal Obamacare they need to muster the votes to do so. That is how democracy works.
    Ted Cruz believes in governing by extortion and obstructionism.

    October 6, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. john roach

    I think it be best for oboma to defund oboma care so are jobs don,t go oversea and to build all aircraft back east where they have brains to do the job and for the goverment to arrest any

    October 6, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  25. California John

    Time to recall this guy with a Second Amendment tool.

    October 6, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
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