October 6th, 2013
11:16 AM ET
12 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. davidi85

    The printers of the funny money are the ones destroying it's value...

    October 6, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  2. Nicmur96

    The Affordable Healthcare Act is law. It was passed by Congress, upheld by the Supreme Court, and the people reelected Obama, and he ran on his record. The problem with the Tea Party, and Republicans in general, is they don't mind spending money on what they like, but will obstruct anything that is linked to Obama. AHA needs to be implemented and if it doesn't work, then the Republicans will have their big "aha" moment they are always looking for. Til then, stop trying to obstruct the democratic system of government.

    October 6, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. Jo Se

    We, or our predecessors, paid for all of the buildings and monuments with blood, sweat, tears, money, and, yes, lives.

    I used to be able to walk into every building and monument in D. C. Without anyone bothering me. I would walk into Congressmen's offices and be received like the boss. Don't tell me that the big, bad terrorists make it necessary to keep me out of my own property. That is bs. We need to kick out anyone who does that.

    Gandhi forced the British to give back to the Indians their salt. Study how he did it. We can do the same.

    October 6, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. Jimmy Moore

    Cruz is the one who needs to be reined in...our leader is the President not this radical twit.

    October 6, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. RandyNewnan23

    This guy is bat chit crazy. Boehner needs to grow some kahunas and take this mad dog down.

    October 6, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  6. Karl Jonas

    Could the vaunted Candy Crowley even bother to ask him why he was saying Obmacare "isn't working" when it hadn't even begun, and has just been up and running for all of 4 days?

    October 6, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. Amazed2

    What an idiot. The tea party is working hard to destroy America. And so glad President Romney I and the GOP is trying to stop health care for millions of Americans as promised.

    October 6, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. S Smith

    C'mon little people! I only call us little people because that is the way this admin thinks of us. Healthcare they do not have to live with? Their favorites also get to forego it. But, it is for the little people they believe the government has to take care of (control). You better start being thankful to anybody who puts a spoke in the wheel of the spend and tax future we are facing.

    October 6, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  9. Strangways

    Thank you, Texas for gifting us with another cretin who is destroying this country.

    October 6, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. GotOutOfTexas

    Texas is just plain weird.

    October 6, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. Jeff Cohee

    Ted Cruz' shenanigans and other Republicans who are following his lead are destroying America's form of government and embarrassing its people. How can we continue to promote our form of government throughout the world when we have politicians in our country who insist in making a mockery of it!

    October 6, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  12. ravenosfan

    should not worry about Cruz and his Tea Party allies destroying the Republican Party. We should be worried instead of him destroying the country and the world economy. Cruz and the tea Party are very dangerous.

    October 6, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. Michael

    A disgusting individual. Bought and paid for by special interest. No concern for all the damage he has done. Let's hope karma visits teddy real soon.

    October 6, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. davidi85

    When your out of money and attempt to create it out of thin air by printing more, it only decreases the value of whats already in circulation.... It's simple math... So easy a cave man could do it..

    October 6, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  15. northerstar

    Although the Government is shutdown due to lack of funding; Obamacare is NOT because it is a "mandated" program just like Social Security. It cannot be de-funded the way Cruz is planning. Cruz has only been a Senator for 8 months and knows NOTHING about governing. The Tea Party is a bunch of Wing Nuts. I used to vote Republican but no longer. As long as the GOP is associated with these extremists they will never again control the White House.

    October 6, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  16. cartman

    "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a Sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. ...Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that 'the buck stops here'. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and Grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."

    OBAMA, MARCH 2006

    I agree Barack, now you finally have a chance to do something about it.

    October 6, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. justin

    cruz, you'll be looking for a job next election.

    October 6, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. Mick Burke

    Wacko-Bird sits on the old gum tree
    Merry merry king of the Tea-Baggers is he.
    Laugh, Wacko-Bird, laugh, Wacko-Bird,
    Happy your life must be!

    Wacko-Bird sits on the old gum tree,
    Cutting all the Obama Care he can see.
    Stop Wacko-Bird, stop Wacko-Bird
    Save some health care for me!

    Wacko-Bird sits on the old gum tree,
    Cutting all the Federal Workers he can see.
    Laugh Wacko-Bird, laugh Wacko-Bird
    Those Workers will be voting “Big D” !

    October 6, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. Roscoe Chait

    I'm completely disgusted with Cruz and his thugs. Time for the Republican Party to dissolve and a new party to emerge, one that cares about the people of this country.

    October 6, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. MBW

    It's not Cruz' job to "rein in" Obama. It's the American people's job to decide who their leaders are and what the policies are. If Cruz thinks we need to rein it in, he should take his case to the American people in the next election. That's why we have elections in the first place.

    October 6, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. wotudezerv

    cruz and his extremist phoney americans would destroy this good nation and are doing their very best to make inroads into doing just that. if you love america, vote them out next time. if you hate america and the working and middle class people who make up the majority that voted for the President precisely because he promised affordable health care, then support the TP (stands for toilet paper and Tea Party, which are the same.)

    it's pretty simple – these TP losers, and bad losers at that, would do more damage to daily life in america than almost any foreign or domestic terror group you can imagine. in fact, they are home grown economic terrorists, without question.

    October 6, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  22. buddymonster

    Ted...your daddy needs to send you back to Cuba for a few lessons!

    October 6, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  23. Steve

    Look up Ted Cruz in the dicktionary and you will see a picture of a big turd..

    October 6, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  24. Go Browns

    These comments are very similar to Obama's reelection results in Ohio...100% anti Cruz, pro Obamacare. Candy Crowley cut off Lew because he said no facts, just insults and childish rants. She almost seemed sincere to Cruz because he did state facts, like the fact that IBM, UPS and the Cleveland Clinic are cutting employment and insurance coverage as a direct result of Obamacare.

    October 6, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  25. proshooter

    Who is this guy Cruz? Born in Canada, show your birth certificate! He must have the same press agent as the Kardashian's .Listening to him resembles Joe McCarthy in the 1950's witch hunts. Another gunslinger from Texas.

    October 6, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
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