October 6th, 2013
11:16 AM ET
10 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. David Clark

    W survived an economic catastrophe, jobs have been added every month in the past 4 years, apprehended terrorists before they can bring destruction to our shores and we allow a novice Senator create dis-stabling actions in the Senate that is eroding all our progress. Senator Cruz is in favor of the one trillion spent on the new aircraft carrier but is against average Americans being able to get affordable healthcare. And by the way the one trillion dollar aircraft carrier along with 20 planes can be taken out with one missile. It looks like one Senator wants to take out 20 million Americans by taking health care out of their reach.

    October 6, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. Majorbatguano

    Gee, I would really like to know if Mister Cruz ever received any health care services in Canada

    October 6, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. Pat Carr

    Yeah Josh you can thank your non-existent "god" for a loon like him. " All independent Americans should support him." – You meant all unintelligent americans should support him. and probably o

    October 6, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  4. Don

    Senator Cruz does not have any idea how many people he is hurting by shutting down government and now willing to not pay our country's bills by not supporting raising of the debt ceiling. He will destroy the American we have known and loved. The GOP will suffer greatly for supporting his position, which is most unfortunate.

    October 6, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. Romnesia

    China is loving this...just speeding up the process for them(google for Chinese university professor speech about the fall of the u.s). .

    October 6, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. Merlin

    = = = The damage to the once strong USA Dollar had already irrevocably happened: see Dollar's Reign as World's Main Reserve Currency Is Near an End ...

    October 6, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. scarf

    Cruz and the rest of the GOP have it all wrong. We don't have spending problem. Nor do we have a revenue problem. We have a DEFICIT problem, and they make it worse when they get the spending cuts they demand (see sequester) and then demand an even bigger tax cut. I was against the Bush tax cuts when they were first proposed, and against them when Obama made (some of) them permanent, even though I benefited. I would prefer to decrease the deficit than get a few hundred dollars reduction in my tax liabilty. The GOP needs to understand that, if the American people want expensive government programs (see Medicare, Social Security, Defense), then they should be made to PAY for it with higher taxes. Even Rand Paul admits that we can't balance the budget with spending cuts alone.

    October 6, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. Nancy

    Candy was obsessed with pinning Jack Lew down on what will happen if we don't raise the debt ceiling (specifically what and when is it going to happen). This line of questioning perplexed me. Why would we even want to take a chance of something bad happening? Ted Cruz had an easy time today – and further got to advocate for his own poliltical agenda.

    October 6, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. ThereWillBeAReckoning

    GOP Extremists are attempting to use the threat of economic destruction to extort in crisis that which they could not win at the ballot box.

    That makes them Economic Terrorists.

    This Nation and its President must never, ever negotiate with Terrorists.

    October 6, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. PseudoPrincess

    This is the slimy slug who needs to be reigned in. Be happy you Teapers as your party name and your brief time on the stage is going to have an asterisk next to it on the ash pile of history and footnote will credit you with bringing down the country you claim to love so much. Yes, that is what you are leaving your children, financial anihilation and you will starve while doing it. There isn't a patriot among you.

    October 6, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. belinda

    This is what happens , when you put someone who is mentally unstable, (Ted Cruz) in a position of power, that could destroy our country. This man had no business being a senator.

    October 6, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  12. Romnesia

    Can't wait to see this guy run in 2016 (though he really already started running hasnt he). Its going to be hysterical. lol

    October 6, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. Julius

    What's crazy is the republican leadership is allowing Ted Cruz to go on a leach without control. I can't believe the house speaker will allow all these imbroglio. Sorry but I am not voting republican next time since they allow the TP base ideology to take over our party.

    . I guess this works out well for the Democratic party and they will win the next election as well.

    October 6, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. RON from OHIO

    The Russian Krushchev said "we(Russia) will bury you(USA).." in the 1960s. When ask what he meant...he said America, the USA will destroy itself from within. It appears/looks like that America through its own Congress and government, the Tea Party, and assists from Senator Cruz, and others are doing their best to destroy America from within. We do not need outside interference, we are destroying America thru a few Americans.

    October 6, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. Harry B Shaw

    It is well past time for people to March in the streets March on Washington. March in front of your local congressman's office. The insanity must end and we are allowing this to continue. WE ARE ALLOWING THIS TO CONTINUE. Peaceful protest but protest non the less it is easy to hide on these message boards but our voices should be heard. Innocent people are being badly hurt and it is only going to get much worse if we allow it. TED CRUZ is the anti Christ and the tea party crazies represent the anti christ. Stand up people before its too late

    October 6, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. PseudoPrincess

    Tea Party = nihilists. May they starve to death.

    October 6, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    ted cruz is a fing joke along with rick opps perry

    October 6, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  18. porochi

    No, don't raise the debt ceiling. I agree with Sen. Cruz, at some point we have to stop increasing the fed. debt. We can't, year after year, keep raising the debt ceiling. The fed. needs a major haircut, in all areas. I applaud the GOP, stand fast, don't back down. Do not raise the debt ceiling. The world won't end, and just think, the govt. will have to learn to live within its means. i can't get an increase in my credit card limit, year after year, neither should the fed.

    October 6, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  19. KP

    Ted Cruz is out of his mind. He needs to be "impeached" if there are are laws just as there as are laws to "impeach" the President. Don't know why CNN is even briningon in people like Ted Cruz on TV

    October 6, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  20. Steve

    The fool is off his rocker with the rest of the tea party extremists. They are Domestic Economic Terrorists.

    October 6, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  21. Sue

    Interesting reading from Sen. Cruz. First, after the debt ceiling has been raised 58(?) times since 1978, it is now President Obama that has to do something about it? What about the other 58 times? Cruz also needs to do some reading and not portray the destruction of private health care, Obamacare will enhance it and help those who cannot afford his private health care to be insured. He also doesn't think all the negativity will take a toll on the Republican party??? Get a grip, people will remember. And my favorite quote of his: "But, I also think far too many people are worried about politics". What is he thinking?? This comment is almost laughable. My goodness, it shows total irresponsibility of the American people not to be worried about politics. And right now, we have a lot to worry about.

    October 6, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  22. jim

    The debt ceiling was raised 58 times since 1978?

    Hey Canadian born Sen. Cruz, how do feel about the fact that under those 58 times, 11 were by Reagan alone and 7 under Bush W?

    Facts: The GOP's nemesis.

    October 6, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  23. Mark

    The GOPs idea of a win is to take the whole country down with it? Moderates are afraid to speak up against Cruz and company. This is a disaster of their own making.

    October 6, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  24. adrifter

    Dear USA. Sorry about this Ted Cruz. Love, Canada.

    October 6, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  25. RomneyWho

    Ted Cruz, another Village idiot comes forward . . . How many of them are out there? :(

    October 6, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
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