October 6th, 2013
11:16 AM ET
7 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 (1,411 Responses)
  1. California John

    Time to recall this guy with a Second Amendment tool.

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

    Senator Ted Cruz appears to be running for higher office. He is not willing to work with other Republicans but is cutting out his own territory. His ideas are just controversial enough to get the media to listen to him and interview him. He is the new media "darling" following Rand Paul and others who have played the role.

    Government must appeal to the majority and can do so if people will compromise. We can all win if we work that way. We have too many politicians who want to do things their way and will not work with anyone who does not agree with them. It is a sad commentary on our times. However, the media successfully promotes this craziness because they spend lots of time talking about those who will not compromise. The more press the less willing to work together.

    October 6, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. move_on

    The Republicans do not have the guts to let the Tea Party break free and form is own real party because they lack the imagination to differentiate themselves.

    October 6, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. Charles Williams

    Objectively speaking, Cruz is a smart opportunist who is only concerned about one thing: Ted Cruz! The sooner the Republican party realizes that, the sooner they can stop the bleeding! He continually attacks both Dems & Repubs with equal disdain & vemon. All the American people have to do is listen to him, & they'll see the truth, I did a month ago when he praised Jesse Helms for his views. All you NC people out there knew what Helms stood for!

    October 6, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. Peg

    The NYT has evidence that the GOP have been planning the shutdown since Feburary as a way to defund Obamacare in their article "A Federal Budget Crisis Months in the Making"

    The idea that the GOP would then turn around and say it is "Obama's shutdown" caused by an unwillingness to negotiate or compromise makes it all even more offensive.

    The GOP objective was to stop Obamacare period.

    It was never to compromise or negotiate.

    The American people and the threat to destroy our economy have not only become leverage, this was always the GOP's plan.

    If they had done their jobs and had passed a budget, they would not have had an excuse to shutdown the government. It seems this is likely why Boehner would never move to the negotiation phase with the Senate over the budget, because the shutdown was always the objective.

    The TeaGOP are simply being used as an excuse. They live in very conservative districts and can take the blame and still get re-elected, so the other Republicans in more moderate districts can pretend to be not a fault – but this was all planned months in advance.

    October 6, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  6. buddymonster

    WOW...Ted you really are dense! Try learning from your MISTAKES and that might help!

    October 6, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. kevin3g

    Unprecidented abuse of power by ONE congressman against the interests of working Americans and American security. This guy is on such a power trip, he must think he's a great patriot, so he's delusional too!

    October 6, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. jack

    Cruz is delusional and is mainly responsible for the shut down. Boehner has already said he won't try to add any concessions to the debt ceiling being raised. There is not enough time to debate it. Cruz is going to cause more problems and lower our credit rating once again because of his ignorance. Republicans had all year to debate these issues and did nothing but collect a paycheck. Cruz needs to be put on a leash by his party because he is destroying their reputation quickly.....

    October 6, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. Aaron

    I want to use a blunt object on his face.

    October 6, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. Kiril Selverov

    I think it's time for both the House and the Senate to be replaced. If nothing fixes the current stalemate, the country should have emergency national elections. The country is being destroyed, because of 40 selfish politicians, who have become irrelevant, and want to take the country with them as they find themselves obsolete.

    October 6, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  11. Richard

    Cruz is crazed with "leverage" - what is "Hostage taking" if not out-and-out leverage?

    October 6, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. Hasslefree

    This guy is as nutty as he is a phony. Not a single proposal of his make sense. Shame to the way the process is being conducted

    October 6, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    @vijay: "He also made a huge mistake of ramming down ;obmacare; down the nations throat "

    Debating a program and passing it by a majority is NOT "ramming" Obamacare down the nation's throat. You folks on the right are nothing but a bunch of spoiled, whiny children who can't accept you LOST.

    October 6, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. Benita

    Why do we allow Cruz to show his ugly face on cable. I want my money back!

    October 6, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. Solitairedog

    They couldn't get their way in Congress, so they just put a gun to the head of the country and try to force their will on the people. My goodness. Aren't they clever? And of course it's our own fault for not doing what they wanted in the first place.

    October 6, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  16. q399

    When are these idiots going to realize they lost the election? They had their chance in 2000-2008. They started an idiotic war and ran the country into the ground. Somehow, they still think they know whats best for the country. they are so sure they know what they are doing that they are willing to run the country into the ground again in order to protect us. Scary stuff.

    October 6, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  17. Alina1

    What is with this man?! Really?!

    October 6, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. Doug Lynn

    This President has been the most irresponsible and incompetent in history. We have added 6.4 trillion to our debt is less than 6 years. Ignorant and deceitful liberals tell us that Obama saved us from depression. What a bunch of foolish garbage. Any average American could have done a better job than Obama. Think about it. There are 115,000,000 households in the country. Obama has led the charge to spend an extra $55,600 per household in less than six years and we are still barely growing, and median family income is still down.

    And, stop with lie that Bush did it. Reid, Pelosi and the Democrats controlled Congress when the recession hit, not the Republicans. You cannot blame the Republicans that only control the House now and pretend Democrats controlling both the House and Senate are not just as culpable as Bush.

    Running for President the first time, Obama called deficits much, much smaller than his irresponsible.Now that he is President, he loves buying votes with money borrowed (stolen) from our future. I feel sorry for whoever is the next President. Our future is worse day than it was in early 2009, thanks in large part to Obama.

    October 6, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  19. Alina1

    Osama attacked the World Trade Center to disrupt the US conomy, but all that he had to do is to call Senator Cruz ..

    October 6, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  20. Why

    He is the leader of the American AlQeeda

    October 6, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  21. Alpha Money Man

    As long as Novices like Senator Ted Cruz keep getting bankrolled by Special Interest Groups to execute this kind of agenda; we are on a very slippery road. Somehow, people still somehow think Senator Cruz is doing this to truly rein in deficit; please think deep and analyze it properly before you draw your conclusion. There are definitely folks out there who have their own hidden agenda and it's big...

    October 6, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  22. Thomas

    Ask Mrs. Cruz
    10,000 Small Businesses
    See how Goldman Sachs is helping
    small businesses grow jobs.

    Fallow the money trail if you want to see who profits off the Government shutdown.

    For all you Tea Bagers who think Ted Cruz is motivated by ideology , you poor chumps are being worked , Cruz is all about theater and economic profit for himself and the few that are going short on America .

    October 6, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  23. oaksong

    Can anyone tell me why Ted Cruz should be allowed to hold a gun to the "head" of the American government process. This is a Democracy and what he's doing is anything but Democratic. He's a little boy in the sandbox who didn't get his way and now he's throwing a tantrum. When is someone going to call a spade a spade and tell this truth?

    October 6, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  24. dan

    I personally do not think he is not smart. I believe he is simply advocating for special interests. Unfortunately, that special interest is not the interest of the people. He is advocating for big corporations, health insurance companies, NRA, Christian extremist, and of course, his own self interest. He caters to the most ignorant, racist and prejudicial groups in the US for his own political gain.

    October 6, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  25. Francisco Decastro

    Cruz is becoming very infamous.......

    October 6, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
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