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. Ruth

    This man has to have the most annoying face ever, the kind of face that makes you want to throw up if you stare at it long enough. He will be another clown in the Republican president primary. It is sad to see a party that used to have viable candidates for President now being led around by anarchists. America is a great country but it needs great political leaders, we have been going down hilll since the Tea Party took over our country. American politics is starting to look like a reality show, the most obnoxious person is the one who gets the most airtime and earns the most money.

    October 6, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  2. ImvotingforHillary

    The US is going to default and you owe it all to the racists who are only doing this because they can't stand to work with a black man in office. If he was white the GOP would be dealing with him.

    October 6, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Cruz is the best promotor for the democratic party. Keep going Ted, and the Dems will take the house back in 2014.

    October 6, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  4. James_in_Canada

    Just for the record, this idiot's family moved to the states when he was 4 years old. He never had a chance to ruin our governmental system here in Canada. Thank God! I hope this crisis created by the GOP ends soon for the good of the U.S. people.

    October 6, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. Very Disappointed

    When I think of Politicians and what they've done for the future of our country, I'm reminded of the line from Dune by Frank Herbert. -I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer. Fear is that little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. Allow it to pass over and through me. And when it has passed I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.-
    I will not fear the future of this once great nation. We will rise like the Phoenix from the ashes.

    October 6, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. John

    "So the president's demand to jack up the nation's credit card with no limits, no constraints – it's not reasonable."

    So can any of you that support Cruz repeat that comment above with a straight face? There is a reason he has to lie like this . It is not working.

    October 6, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. Stella

    Not really sure why people are against Universal Health Care. Has anyone ever lost their job and applied for Cobra, well let me be the first to tell you it cost's a FORTUNE and is unattainable if your unemployed period. The republican's have made it very clear they want the President to "FAIL" it's mostly due to racism and stupidity. I think everyone should stop and think how we got in this mess in the first place...THE REPUBLICANS put the country in this mess and now there willing to destroy it with their extreme beliefs. Just remember when they ran the country for 8yrs into the ground nobody was calling for debt limits or anything for that matter, but now it's IMPORTANT. Clinton left office with a balanced budget...so what happened? Oh, let's thank the republicans!

    October 6, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  8. solution

    Familiarity breeds contempt, and Obama is the poster boy of contempt to the American way of life.

    October 6, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  9. Faux Scandals

    Who put this idiot in charge.

    October 6, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  10. Regomatic

    As a Republican, I'm ashamed that our party leadership has allowed these Tea Party extremists to take us this far out to the brink. They do not represent mainstream America. They are not True Republicans they are Tea Partiers. They should be asked to leave the Republican Party and run on their own Independent Tea Party Platforms. I think then we'll be rid of them after a single cycle of elections.

    October 6, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  11. newsdreamer

    Obama should NOT negotiate with the Republicans thugs. Let them try to destroy this nation. The voters will defeat all the Republicans. Cruz, Boehner, Cantor, and others are the real Terrorist.

    October 6, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  12. Aerin

    The GOP will burn the House down if they can be King of the Ashes

    October 6, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  13. DJ Reality

    Run for president there Teddy my boy.

    October 6, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  14. MaryM

    Jesus H Christ, another tea party loony. And an arrogant one at that. That's right repubs, keep digging that hold with these rwnjs

    October 6, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  15. Common Sense

    This man will cause the Republican Party major losses next year. Thank You Ted

    October 6, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. newsdreamer

    T. Cruz is a Canadian Terrorist import.

    October 6, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. Diane

    The Republicans will pay a dear price at the ballot box for their behavior.

    October 6, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. Take as moment to think...

    Can anybody be charged for treason these days?

    October 6, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  19. getu

    Please do not blame him only, blame the voters who got him elected. I hope the people that elected these idiots get hurt the worst over this shut down.

    October 6, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  20. rudy

    This guy is soooo stupid. Makes no sense. America why have you led such fools decide your fate?

    October 6, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. Insight

    Ted screws

    October 6, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. MarkWitt

    I guess this fool will be happiest when the Chinese call-in all of the loans they've made to the USA, and we sink to a lowly Third World (Power?)...someone better tell this jerk that his work (or lack thereof) really is not helping our country...just setting us up for a tremendous fall...but then again, he will simply blame it all on the President and the Democratic Party, A$$hat!

    October 6, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. Jayakumar

    This man is a certifiable nut bag.

    October 6, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. keven

    Cruz is just another fascist, elitist who wants to abandon the old and the poor. He'd sell out his mother to save a few bucks.

    October 6, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  25. johnpm

    Did candy Crowley bail Obama out like she did during the debates?

    October 6, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
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