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. johnpm

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

    October 6, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. TM

    How do you plan to get that leverage Senator Cruz? By reading "The Cat in the Hat"? Please spare us from another one of your self serving media spectacles.

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

    Argh! The debt ceiling is the US agreeing to pay its bills... the bills that Congress itself agreed to in previous budgets. If we don't raise our debt ceiling, it doesn't cancel our debts, it just makes us late in payments thereby incurring penalties and hurting our credit rating. Just as if you or I didn't pay a credit card when due.
    I'm ALL for continuing to lower the deficit, but to not pay our existing obligations is stupid, reckless and frankly immoral. It will ruin our economy, and I'm so sick of people like Cruz not understanding the difference.

    October 6, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. Tired of Stupid

    Time to Vote Cruz off the island......permanently!

    October 6, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. AMERICAFIRST

    The Tea Party is hell bent on finishing off the United States of America. Time to toss the tea.

    October 6, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  6. michael lee

    i feel like Ted Cruz is telling me.....he is going to gamble with my money

    let it all ride....and see what happens

    and i have absolutely no say in the matter

    is obamacare really that bad....that we are willing to intentionally hurt our economy....so obamacare wont maybe hurt the economy?

    it doesnt even make sense.....i dont get it?

    October 6, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  7. Ian

    This guy's thinking is, we lost the original vote for the affordable care act and I and other tea party loons don't like it. He certainly doesn't represent the millions of Americans who will now have access to health care. If he is so worried about government spending, maybe he should take a look at a defense budget that is 7 times the size of China's. He is nothing more than a petulant child and thinks it makes him look presidential.

    October 6, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. mike

    What a putz Cruz is.

    October 6, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  9. The King

    Translation; Use the threat of default on US debt as a bargaining chip to repeal legislation that you could not repeal through the legislative process.
    The Republican party has officially become a terrorist threat. Treat accordingly.

    October 6, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. sage

    the same party that stole an election in 2000 ... trashy

    October 6, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. AMERICAFIRST

    Betcha if a war was needed, no problem on the debt issue. War is always a priority for this inane party of tea.

    October 6, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  12. John

    Dilisional. The destryoer of the republican party. Thank's Mr. Cruz. "Let him rave so that all will know him mad."

    October 6, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  13. AMERICAFIRST

    Perhaps the Tea Party should pay us back for the Iraq war. That'd be $3 trillion saved right there. Goofballs like them keep taking us to war. LONG, COSTLY wars.

    October 6, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  14. Jersey Girl

    People! We can't let Tea Party candidates get a hold of our economy & country! The only way to stop them is via our VOTES! The big, BIG money behind them is gonna lie through their teeth on their upcoming political misleading ads. WE ARE smarter than that!

    October 6, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  15. Chuck

    ...and to think people actually vote these losers into an important office!?

    October 6, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  16. JohnRJohnson

    You DON'T cut spending when the economy is still struggling. All that does is take more money out of the economy and hurt business. Cruz should be smart enough to know that. This shutdown not only impacts the families of the government workers who have been furloughed, but it also affects the shops and stores they frequent and spend their money in. The ripple effect of the shutdown goes much wider than Cruz and the Republicans are willing to admit. The man's hubris is stunning.

    October 6, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  17. smum

    Thank you Lord for Ted Cruz and the teabaggers!!! Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of the Republican Party. As such, the United States of America will have a chance to a successful future that otherwise will not happen. Only in the republican/fox/teabaggers world do the ignorant, dumb, and stupid have the capacity to run a country. When I hear these poor idiots "argue" about economics, and science, and any other issue of importance to the well-being of the country, I have to laugh.

    October 6, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  18. AMERICAFIRST

    Tea Party anarchist radicals will be the death of this great nation. Obama, they need to fund the government or kill it. The public will hold them accountable. 2014 isn't far off.

    October 6, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. Bob W.

    Ted Cruz represents me and my beliefs. Funding that "share the wealth" plan "Obamacare" really isn't in my best interest. I am stoked that Ted is finally saying out loud what everybody knows but is afraid to say. If obamacare isn't good enough for our elected representatives, it's not good enough for me. The whole premise of socialized medicine is that the young healthy adults pay for the aged sick ones. Having a law that dictates what I spend my money on causes me great consternation.

    October 6, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  20. Tired

    Ted Cruz is an economic terrorist, capable of doing more harm to our nation than the worst of Al Qaeda. I'm selling everything I own in Texas

    October 6, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  21. Robert

    We have more debt than we'll ever be able to pay back and Obama continues to increase spending, and yet it's the Republicans who are out of line?

    October 6, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  22. Chris Bourne

    I may or may not vote democrat but I will NEVER vote for a republican ever again!!!

    October 6, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  23. AMERICAFIRST

    Negotiation? Obama has always said, half revenue, half spending cuts. The Tea Party – not a dime more from a billionaire. They'll fight tooth and nail to keep Mitt Romney's rate lower than a wisconsin school teacher.

    October 6, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  24. tnt

    Stand up America before the Ted Cruz's of Washington ruin America!!

    October 6, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  25. AMERICAFIRST

    Why are we listening to Ted Cruz the foreigner anyway? Why would anyone?

    October 6, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
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