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. A Kickin' Donkey

    I don't think the debt ceiling should be increased. I AM SURE that some of that money would find its way into the coffers of Exxon Mobil in the form of some oil exploration tax credit. I am sure that some of that money would go to pay for a complex weapon system [e.g. Patriot Missile Batteries] that were ordered 10 years ago under George Bush.

    I think the debt ceiling should be REVEALED for precisely what the money would go to cover in 2013 / 2014. What the American people would dicover is that it is applied to things, to decisions made by Republican Congress'es and Republican Presidents many years ago.

    October 6, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. DennisRV

    Quite simply put, Ted Cruz is a dangerous loose cannon. How can one person hold the entire country hostage? Where are the responsible people in Congress???

    October 6, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. JusSayin

    So, I guess noone is noticing the correlations between the ascent of the fifth columnist from Canuckistan, Ted Cruz, and the 40% decline of the US$ to the Can$.

    October 6, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. thelma

    Start pointing your fingers at Cruz. Who is this guy and how can we rid ourselves of this type of mentality and idealism? And why does he look like he wears mascara and eye make-up?

    October 6, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  5. Tom

    I think that we should ask that back round checks for guns should be on the table also, 80++% of Americans want them
    so way not. What do you want, and what do you and you and you want, lets make sure that everybody has a say too.

    October 6, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. Nancy

    Take out the back and forth jabs. Forget parties and forget the President. This is beyond Obamacare. This is about this countries debt. It's about fiscal responsibility which has disappeared over several administrations. It's about making this country poor. It's about the "borrow and spend" mentality, and the raising the national debt so high that Americans won't even own it anymore. Other countries will own America. WE have a terminal disease. We are borrowing from other countries to pay our debts!!! This matter is beyond Obamacare. Does anyone get that? What I see is that one party wants more money to spend (because NOW we HAVE to spend to save ourselves!) . We can't even afford the interest payments on these loans. Obamacare will add over $6 Trillion to the already huge national debt. And with a debt ceiling raise, the spending will continue. This is fiscal irresponsibility, and it's a mess. This isn't about Obamacare except that it's going to add a huge debt. America has a terminal disease people. Wake up and stop listening to the garbage in the news. The blustering bullies and the name callers make me sick.

    October 6, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. Be A True Leader

    Based on this MORON senator Ted Cruz' statement "Cruz: Use debt ceiling debate for leverage" that's an outrage. This MORON Cruz and his allied put our great nation's credibility in jeopardized so MORON Cruz and his allied can gain upper hand for their caucus and special interests. It's absolutely stupidity! Vote them all out in 1014/16 elections.

    October 6, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. JP

    Dear Ted would rather be in the limelight and enlarge the problem.... while he gets attention for his big ego than be a small part of a solution.

    October 6, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. Loretta

    This fighting is hurting no one but the American people. I support our President. I will NEVER vote for a republican or tea candidate. Shame on all of you!

    October 6, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. ErnieS

    Why do the networks give this Cretan any air time at all. He's a piece of waste.

    October 6, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. Debbie

    Ted Cruz is just running for president. He doesn't care about the U S. He's from Texas, where we have the most uninsured, and he aims to keep it that way.

    October 6, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Ted Cruz is a major @asshat. Use the economy as a leverage to get what you want. Gee thanks for screwing with my 401k to appease you puppet masters (ie Koch brothers)

    October 6, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  13. none

    Cruz needs to be shot in the head for even thinking such crap. I hope he is stupid enough to attempt this because when our economy completely collapse, all of his crooked GOP trash will come tumbling down right along with the rest of us so go ahead you damn terrorist, try it. I hope the Fed's find a way to indite you for terrorist activity making such a threat.

    October 6, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. BobAD

    Until the people of the US understand that Fidel Cruz is an Arcanist and following in the footsteps of his communist father he will continue to try to destroy the US Economy. Watch your 401k's and kiss them goodbye.

    October 6, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. li_bri

    Nice job, Ted. Don't stop.

    October 6, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. al

    If Anybody needs to be reined in, it's Texas loon Cruz.

    October 6, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. empathy4us

    Of course, Obama has reduced the deficit for three straight years and now it will be about 3-4% of GDP (about what it has been historically). Debt was increased to stave off the great recession and now spending is back to "normal" levels. Also, discretionary spending is about the lowest its been in 50 years (as a percent of GDP). But, revenue is down from corporations and high income earners (tax rate for the former lower than in most OECD nations and lower for the latter than has been seen in 50 years). This is the problem. We have a revenue problem.

    October 6, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  18. Dan

    Cruz fate is sealed.Teddy has 0% chance of ever being elected President of the United States of America.

    October 6, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. spjon

    He said the debt ceiling has been raised 58 times with stringent requirements 20 times. I only have one thing to say Mr. Cruz; scoreboard.

    October 6, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. spjon

    Cruz said the debt ceiling has been raised 58 times, 20 of which there were stringent requirements set. I only have 1 thing to say to you Mr. Cruz; scoreboard.

    October 6, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  21. James

    I thought Obamacare was already the law of the land. Why are republicans always trying to break the law or discuss what has already been considered law. They must be stuck in a time capsule of the Bush Era. Hey Republicans please wake up and realize the American People have voted in Obama, a black man and he came up with an affordable health care plan for all Americans and yes he named it after himself. He also took care of the mess you guys created and saved our economy, if not the whole world's. He is also credited with so much more as history will demonstrate that he was the greatest president that ever lived. We know it's hard for you guys to swallow, but it's history you can't rewrite. You just have to DEAL with it! Take a few pills and that may ease the transition into accepting reality no matter how hard you try to live in the past.

    October 6, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  22. Penny Wright

    Rafael Cruz is the most dangerous demagogue in American politics since Joe McCarthy

    October 6, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  23. rachel

    Texas, for the love of Pete, please get this fool out of office.

    October 6, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. Padric2

    Cruz has ambitions far beyond his ability. He dreams that his nonsense will be viewed by the republican base as clever and bold. They see him as an embarrassment and a stupid little F#@( who needs to learn the rules. He's costing them any leverage that they thought that they had. Cruz is a freakin' joke and his party wants him to shut up.

    October 6, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. rdeleys

    Conservatism and its closely related partner, anti-intellectualism, are social diseases that appear to be especially prevalent in the Neoconfederate South. Since these people object so strenuously to "Big Government" yet take substantially more in funds from Washington than they contribute in taxes, I suggest they we wean them from their dependency on "Big Government" by restricting what they can receive to no more than they contribute. After one or two election cycles, we can then go back and see how it's all working out for them.

    October 6, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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