October 6th, 2013
11:16 AM ET
6 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. 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 |
  2. JoeR

    The President of the United States is not some animal to be "Reined in" by some arrogant little politician from nowhere Texas!

    October 6, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    This guy is the Devil. Does he want the U.S. to stop being a country since he's ruining it.

    October 6, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. realist512

    ACA is law. This is extortion.

    Cruz will cash in and go to FOX after his 6 years in Washington because his tenure will continue to be a disaster.

    October 6, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. curious2

    This smells like an over lobbying...... under the table.....home grown.....attack on the American people......bent on self interested......clandestine.....operation.....

    October 6, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. JT

    Why on Earth would you take the country to the brink of default?????? Has this man lost his mind?????? Will someone sane please take control of this rogue lunatic!!!!!

    October 6, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. Andrew

    That guy really seems to hate his country.

    October 6, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. pkfops01

    Time to impeach Cruz and the rest of the TP.

    All that needs to be done is to have a rep submit an article of impeachment and call for a vote.

    October 6, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. GotOutOfTexas

    Cut all defense contracts in Texas Now!

    October 6, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. movetocostarica

    Except for the national parks, which I love, I think we're better off shutting down our crazy gov't! The USA is taking a beating because our politicians all have their own agenda'sin mind not the average American. They just want to be re-elected and get gifts from corps. I love the USA, but I'm moving south, some third world countries are on the same level now as the USA. What's that old saying "you can't expect change if no one is going to try something new". All I see is the same old stuff from our elected officials. ACA may not be the perfect answer, but at least its something "new", it will evolve and get better or fail, but let's at least try something.

    October 6, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. Dave

    Would Texas ship this Third Country National back to whatever rock he crawled out from under Please?

    October 6, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  12. Pamela

    Rational Republicans better reign in Ted Cruz and the Tea Party before they completely destroy the remnants remaining of The Republican Party. Better yet, The Republican Party should disallow the Tea Party members. The Tea Party can form their own party. Ted Cruz receives nice benefits such as health care and pay from the taxpayers of the United States.

    October 6, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  13. jb_n_atl

    If Mr. Cruz is so sure he knows the better way, then he should run in 2016, maybe take on crazy-eyes bachmann as his VP.

    Please, please let it be so.

    October 6, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. Alan

    Wow, listen to all the liberals snarking at Ted Cruz.... The house has a right to hold their ground to the Obummer administration that has refused to budge one inch while the GOP has had to do so constantly. What amazes me is the inherit stupidity of liberals. They think socialism is the answer to all their problems. It is so simple to see that socialism is a lose lose proposition. This political system robs money from the productive sector of the economy and gives it to the non productive sector. Towards the end, the product sector is choked with higher and higher taxes until the whole system collapses. When the productive sector who is pulling the cart gets smaller and smaller and the non productive sector on the cart get larger and larger, the process collapses. Liberals can't see this though; all they want is what they can get for free now while they loose their freedoms and migrate closer to communism.
    When our economy collapses, I will be pointing my fingers at you liberals.... such fools.

    October 6, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  15. Donna Coles

    Reapheal Cruz the immigrants wants to bring down the US government. Like father like son, since papa Cruz was once imprisoned in Cuba for his anti Batista activities

    October 6, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. Boom

    Ted Cruz is crazy. He needs to be exposed for the radical he is. Obamacare is already a law. It is not going to be defunded or repealed.

    October 6, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  17. JjkName

    I agree with the comments that Crowley is completely biased in the questions she asks and the time she allows certain guests to respond.
    She should have challenged Cruz on his pretzel logic that the Senate is responsible for shutting down the Govt by not agreeing to defund the ACA. How disingenuous of her to allow this Demagogue to spew without restraint and not bring any journalistic principles to her interview. Very sad that CNN allows this kind of pandering on what is supposed to be a "news" program.

    October 6, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  18. James

    The rebuttal about Cruz's claim of raising debt ceiling 58 times since 1978. Here are the true facts:

    During Bush Presidency, Current GOP Leaders Voted 19 Times To Increase Debt Limit By $4 Trillion
    During Ronald Reagan the Debt ceiling was increased 18 times. Republicans were not concerned then. Here is more shocking facts:

    While the four Republicans in Congressional leadership positions are attempting to hold the increase hostage now, they combined to vote for a debt limit increase 19 times during the presidency of George W. Bush. In doing so, they increased the debt limit by nearly $4 trillion.

    Still more facts are revealed:
    June 2002: Congress approves a $450 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $6.4 trillion. McConnell, Boehner, and Cantor vote “yea”, Kyl votes “nay.”
    May 2003: Congress approves a $900 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $7.384 trillion. All four approve.
    November 2004: Congress approves an $800 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $8.1 trillion. All four approve.
    March 2006: Congress approves a $781 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $8.965 trillion. All four approve.
    September 2007: Congress approves an $850 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $9.815 trillion. All four approve.

    The most SHOCKING AND HYPOCRITICAL STATEMENT BY REPUBLICANS WHEN THEY GOVERNED:
    When Bush was in office, the current Republican leaders viewed increasing the debt limit as vital to keeping America’s economy running.

    October 6, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  19. abdallah7907

    ((( O mankind! Say No God But Allah, Achieve Eternal Salvation )))

    " Laa ilaaha illallah " (There is none worthy of worship except Allah.)

    ( I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger )

    ( Introduction to Islam )

    October 6, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. Pamela

    Maybe Cruz and his other Tea Party Crusaders need to be sent the overages this is costing many families and the country for his foolish behavior. He really wants the economy to crash and burn.

    October 6, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  21. don

    We have to raise taxes and cut spending. OR find a way to cut energy costs by 50% , creating an economic boom by boosting discretionary spending , then absorbing that into paying down our debt via higher taxes. You can't just cut spending, we are in too deep.

    October 6, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. john black

    It's too funny, no one was complaining when Bush started two wars, without funding and we are still paying for them. The GOP has as much blame for the deficit as any Democrat, but no one want's to talk about that. Oh, who allowed Wall Street and big business to run wild and almost bankrupt the country with the last Great Recession? GOP!!

    October 6, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  23. media.fail2012

    I love how the article, along with every other article concerning the shutdown at CNN, still presents the current GOP position on Obamacare as that they are trying to defund it. This is journalistic malpractice. The GOP moved to wanting to delay the individual mandate or all of Obamacare for one year in their SECOND proposal (day 1 of the partial shutdown).

    The reason? Polls say that shutting down the government to defund Obamacare is opposed by 70%, but 74% of those polled approve of delaying Obamacare. CNN is sticking with the story that hurts Republicans the most, regardless of what the news actually is. Shameful.

    October 6, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  24. Book lover

    Finally a blog with sane people posting.

    October 6, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  25. mhmdabdallah

    ((( O mankind! Say No God But Allah, Achieve Eternal Salvation )))

    " Laa ilaaha illallah " (There is none worthy of worship except Allah.)

    ( I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger )

    ( Introduction to Islam

    October 6, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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