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. Reasonable Descent

    The use of threat, violence, or intimidation to produce anxiety or fear, as a means to achieve a political goal.

    October 6, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  2. ericraines

    Cruz doesn't think his actions have taken a negative toll on his party's image. "Not remotely," Cruz said.

    Oh, Ted, how fatally wrong you are. I cannot wait to cast my vote against you here in Texas at the next opportunity.

    October 6, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  3. steve

    "This isn't a damn game."

    October 6, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  4. Dan

    The reason that people are worried about politics is politicians like ted cruz, he instigated most of this mess and now that it is not working it is time to blame the President and the Senate majority leader, because if you say it loud enough and long enough some people other than the crazy people of Texas will believe it. And they must be crazy they voted him into office to represent the American people and it seems he only represents himself and a very small group of mental patients that under the ACA could get the help they so badly need.

    October 6, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. Darwin

    More like KIDNAP the debt ceiling and hold it for RANSOM – with the end of Obamacare as the ransom payment. I thought kidnapping was a crime in America?

    October 6, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. mike mcgloin

    I hope the Democrats don't get gutless and let the teabaggers take ALL the credit for what follows.

    October 6, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  7. Richard Thwaites

    This man is irresponsible and unintelligent and should be impeached.

    October 6, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. Tim

    This hateful little troll Cruz needs to $!!% off back to Texas or Hell or wherever he came from.

    October 6, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. Whata Fool

    This guy is a sad joke.

    October 6, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. Cruz is a real terrorist

    Arrest Rafael Cruz for treason

    October 6, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. Pat

    Ted Cruz and the Republican in the House are selfish. The also keeps saying that Obamacare isn't working when it hasn't even started yet. Are they afraid that people may like it once they are able to see the benefits, and give the credit to the President?

    October 6, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. grovie

    This guy reminds me of Joe McCarthy from the 1950s. He'll probably meet the same fate.

    October 6, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. Eddy

    This is the problem with the GOP. There is no real leadership. Why is Ted Cruz on a liberal news network talking about strategy when he is a freshman?

    October 6, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. Sam

    Cruz is the epitome of a demagogue. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demagogue

    October 6, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  15. BAT

    This guy is a piece of crap. At what point does obstructionism become treason?

    October 6, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. D Bunker

    This man is evil.

    October 6, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  17. nonyabidnes2

    Putting politics aside, how does one expect to leverage law that's been on the books since 2012? Seems futile to even suggest this.

    October 6, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. morphytransposed

    I'm sorry but wasn't Obama, elected and then again re-elected by the Majority of Americans via the electoral and popular vote? Isn't that like the nations way of saying they choose Obama's direction and leadership over the alternatives? Why does Cruz wants to pretend like he's taking action for the majority of the US citizens when the election results say quite the contrary? Perhaps we should give Cruz a couple hundred square miles of land in Utah and he and all his band of Non-Conservative extremists can go and run their own nation unobstructed by the MAJORITY of US Citizens. This would return the country to REAL centrist Republicans and centrist DEMOCRATS where all of us MAJORITY want are politics to be so things might just actually get done without minority extortion.

    October 6, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  19. Hil

    Why is CNN giving time or credence to this Joe McCarthy look alike who is a traitor and is attempting to bring down the government?

    October 6, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. Phillip Chang

    This comment is specifically for Mr. Cruz
    Please try to understand the world economy. All other nations will view us as imbecile, as we become deadbeats. The cost for us to do business with the rest of the world will increase so dramatically, that the loss total will exceed the amount that we "might save" even if the ACA were to be un-enacted. The standing of United States, which we painstakingly built over the centuries, will be wiped out by a small group of Congressman. If to become laughing stock of all other nations is what you are willing to pay for your grandstanding, then go ahead.

    October 6, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  21. Randall

    If Cruz and his supporters believe that "Omamacare" will "destroy the private health care system" then they had their moment when the act was voted on, to give their evidence and to convince the American people. That moment passed. The up/down vote was recorded. Now he acts like a child, not like a statesman.

    As far as the debt ceiling is concerned, we all agree that what is going on is not sustainable. The problem is that people like Cruz are hypocrites. He is willing to give away billions to countries like Israel and Egypt and for our tax dollars to be spent projecting U.S. power around the world. But for our citizens to be able to get some benefit from our taxes here at home... thats a big no-no for them. I am currently unemployed and searching for work. I paid taxes all my life yet when I want something back in the form of a little help while I am interviewing for jobs, I would be called a "freeloader" by such people.

    What we really need is an adult, non-partisan debate and referendum to decide what the role of government should be, and whom should pay for it. And whatever the majority decides, everyone must be abide by. If Cruz does not like the results of a vote, he is free to move somewhere else where the society is more to his liking.

    October 6, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. farside6262

    What is wrong with this man? Seriously.

    October 6, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  23. CM46

    Cruz is a part of right wing conspiracy with the Koch brothers and Meese among others to bring down the US government. This activity has been planned since January.

    October 6, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  24. H R mickelson

    The man is certifiable, even his own kind hate him in the Senate. Just another loony tune T Party nut case on the loose from Texas. What were you people thinking who elected this clown? Oh I see, you just wanted him out of Texas, please take him back.

    October 6, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  25. drake wolf

    Worried about politics. I know we shouldn't worry about silly politics, everything is obviously ok and it won't affect me.

    Thanks Cruz my life and the life of my family is secure in your hands,

    God Bless You!

    October 6, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
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