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. John

    he's to stupid to realize he is breaking the law. He'll find out soon enough. Does he really think he isnt killing the republican party? If so, he';s the only one.

    October 6, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. Anagram4wander

    Wow, so the tea party is really hell bent on crashing this country into the ground. Good to know what they stand for – destruction.

    October 6, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. RichardSRussell

    In related developments, Sen. Cruz is certain we can eliminate fire ants from Texas if we just nuke the entire state.
     
    This may have been one of the best ideas this wackjob has ever come up with.

    October 6, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. dennisf255

    "The fact that you're seeing those attacks, I think, is indicative of the fact that we're winning the argument"

    Or it is indicative of the fact that your behavior is so destructive and narcissistic that people are turning on you.

    When was Cruz elected emperor?

    October 6, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. Steven

    If our government has to borrow money continually just to stay afloat, then the U.S.A. is in big trouble!

    October 6, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Patrish

    Isn't this the guy that use to go down the hall to the girls side of the dorm in his bathrobe? I find that icky, and I find him icky in general. He think he knows it all and is right. As for the healthy care. I have very good health care and are not so lucky and live in terror of a serious illness. Little it get started and tweak it as needed. Most laws are not perfect in the beginning. For the those that think that Cruz is correct and this is the way to go, you may change your mind if this drags on.

    October 6, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. Suresh Chari

    Who died and made this clown a 'leader'? Terrorist Cruz, you need to be tried, impeached and imprisoned for holding the national, and WORLD economy hostage.

    October 6, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  8. grahame rhodes

    Ted Cruz = Glen Beck. Cruz left Canada because nobody up here would take him seriously. He even looks like Joseph MacCarthy. Give me the Canadian health system anyday. OK so we have to wait a little longer but nobody get turned away becaus they have a preexisting sickness or no insurance. Cruz... HA you can keep him

    October 6, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. A True Dupe

    The Cruz guy just keeps hammering away, driving nails into the GOP coffin. Go Teddy! You rock. Can I get you a glass of lemonade and a fresh hammer? How's that supply of nails holding out?

    October 6, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  10. RichardSRussell

    In related developments, Sen. Cruz is certain we can eliminate fire ants from Texas if we just nuke the entire state.

    This may have been one of the best ideas he's ever come up with.

    October 6, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  11. Jean Sartre

    Listen, without the 30-40 totally psychotic TP wing nuts, the GOP would not have control of the House. So, the GOP really needs these nuts! The districts that are safe for these 30-40 psychotics are the real problem, because of redistricting and gerrymandering... That is not, unfortunately, going to change until the next census in 2020!

    Hang on folks, it is going to be a long, long haul...

    October 6, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  12. Proud Canadian

    "But I also think far too many people are worried about politics." Ha, he sounds mad that people are paying attention.

    October 6, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. Strangways

    of course Cruz is from Texas – he's in a long line of politicians who have wrecked this country. Nice to know W isn't the only Village Idiot who got into politics.

    October 6, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. Old Salt

    Just who the f does this azzhat think he is? He wants to rein the President in... Time to toss this freshman senator out the door... Thanks Texas for sending this dimwit to DC..

    October 6, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. OMG!

    I am so tired of hearing about the healthcare system from ____. This Cruz guy is off his rocker and if he represents anybody with a brain then they need to impeach him

    October 6, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    He doesn't think he's ruining the Republican Party but he is. I'm sure Palin, Bachmann, Beck and Limbaugh also think most Americans applaud their stupidity, but their "thinking" so, shows arrogance and a delusion of grandeur. We prefer that well-balanced people govern and what they're doing isn't well-balanced at all.

    October 6, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  17. Jacob Ransome

    Go, Ted. If the country is left to pacifist, collectivists, we will soon have every part of the American economy manages by government bureaucrats and the Commuinity Organizer In Chief and his puppet, Harry Reid, will have wrecked America. It will be un recognizable. Go, Ted. Shut it down until they delay the ACA....lets have a national referendum on the ACA.

    October 6, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  18. FromFoodstamps2LawSchool

    I'm so sick of hearing people/ politicians justify the Shut down with, "the world hasn't ended, has it?"

    No. The world hasn't ended, for you, but what about everyone else? What about 800k people who have bills to pay at the end of the month? What about single mothers who depend on WIC to feed their children every month?

    I defy anyone who has ever experienced the feeling of not knowing when and where your children's next meal is coming from to be so caviler with this situation.

    I defy anyone who knows what it feels like to realize that you won't have the money to keep the lights or water on, when the bills come due, to dismiss this situation with a wave of the hand.

    Our representatives (ALL of THEM) have come to a place where they have defaulted on their responsibilities to the American people.

    October 6, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  19. teabags over the cliff

    Republicans, penny wise, dollar foolish.

    When the social security checks stop, the tea baggers will be whining about their deposits, along with a lot of other upset people who will do more than whine.

    GO GOP!
    A week into seppuku, maybe Boehmer will lop Cruz's head off.
    Or will it be McCain or Mitch?
    Rand Paul can bag the head and pike it in Republistan.
    Help Texas, soon!

    October 6, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. HenryMiller

    "We should look for ways to mitigate the harm from Obamacare."

    Absolutely! And the best way to do that is to get rid of it.

    "...Congress has to rein in the executive."

    Absolutely that too. Obama is an arrogant would-be petty tyrant.

    October 6, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. MSK

    Ted Cruz has single handedly brought this great country to its knees and now he wants to use the debt ceiling as leverage to continue his poker game. How long is the GOP let this joker continue before we are going to default and many innocent working citizens be put out on the street. Can someone in the congress stop this madness?

    October 6, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  22. FromFoodstamps2LawSchool

    *Cavalier

    October 6, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. Romnesia

    What harm? I pay $16K per year for my family plan, and my daughters can stay on it since they are 22 and 21.
    Unlike Cruz, I don't get a fee 100% paid by we the peasants (I mean people) like this lawyer/politiican

    October 6, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  24. Snah

    The last thing we need as a country is Ricky Ricardo's little brother telling us how to run the country. A Cuban born in Canada. The last thing we need

    October 6, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  25. Penelope

    This is not leverage, this is terrorism. And to add insult to injury we are now learning this was planned months ago, with lots of financial support by the Koch brothers and their gang. Cruz is a mere silly, vain puppet.

    October 6, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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