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. Mike

    I predict it will only take 1-2 days of a very sharp dip in the markets and we will see this extortion and blackmail come to an end.

    October 6, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. Bob

    I just woke up and saw this – did someone elect this bozo president while I was asleep? I thought those commenters calling the gop tea party terrorist were pretty far out BUT now I have to rethink it. Think about if someone purposely attacks our economy to bring it down – well you get the point.

    October 6, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. truth is

    Put this man on trial for treason...he is trying to make this country fail

    October 6, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  4. Good Grief

    I think he's trying to bring down our form of government. He's scary to me.

    October 6, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. Justthetruth

    Cruz reminds me of a piece of used toilet paper. Stinks a lot and is totally useless.

    October 6, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. Flagship, NC

    Its absolutely about big private health care providers and insurance company's running your congress and the tea party is nothing more puppets for those corporations..how can elected Representative sleep at night knowing that millions of Americans go with healthcare on a daily basis!! same on the GOP!!

    October 6, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Ted Cruz #winning

    October 6, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  8. Arick

    It is really quite simple, what happens when you decide to not pay your mortgage, credit cards, car loan, etc.?

    That same stuff applies to the government when it defaults. It will not end well for the U.S. or the world. We will pretty much instantly go into an another deep recession. It isn't like we can just ignore our debt. It doesn't work that way.

    October 6, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  9. Black Dynamite

    Sounds like a GOP with a non-corrupted brain. How unusual.
    The Obama Regime does need reigning in.
    BD

    October 6, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  10. The Film Professor

    The old rule of thumb is as clear as ever in this case: One does not negotiate with terrorists. And that is what Cruz is.

    October 6, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. martiniano

    The GOP is playing their hand. They have wanted to kill the new America for decades. They cannot stand the progressive march of history. These people, Cruz – AND THE PEOPLE WHO ELECTED HIM – are enemies of the state. Now before you attack me for being a freeloader, I am a veteran, I earn $140K per year, own my own home and pay more in taxes than most people earn. We must get these terrorists our of our government.

    October 6, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. JD

    Brilliant! Playing political games with the debt ceiling should prove to be as much a resounding success as was tying the ACA to the continuing resolution. Cruz is a teabagger tool, and the House GOP should be ashamed of themselves. Incidentally, Obama certainly did NOT "ram Obamacare down Americans' throats". Time to put that idiotic myth to bed. It was duly passed by a simple majority in both houses of Congress. That both were controlled by the Dems at the time makes no difference and is just too flipping bad. As unlikely as it is after this debacle, if/when the Republicans ever control both houses and the Presidency again, they can repeal it. Until then, their weak attempts to kill or delay it are childish, moronic, doomed to fail, and a serious abrogation of their duties as legislators.

    October 6, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. Henry

    Cruz is beyond doubt a nut case. He fits the pattern of leaders such as Kadafi, Asad, Saddam, etc. how can any sane person support him.

    October 6, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. Keith of Colorado

    What harm is he referring to with respect to the Affordable Healthcare Act? Why does said harm justify forcing the government to default?

    October 6, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  15. Big daddy

    Go Ted, the only way you can negotiate with emperor Obama is leverage. 62% of Americans don't want the ACA, even Obamabots have to understand that math. Well then again maybe not.

    October 6, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. Chuck

    Why strain at the speck in your brothers eye, while you ignore the Tree in your own eye

    October 6, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  17. Henry

    Look at the above photo. Cruz looks like he is on something.

    October 6, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. powerjon1945

    The GOP do nothings and the TP will destroy the US an put us back in a depression. Mr. Cruze has no clue on how the US government works. He is in it for personal gain. MY REPUBLICAN PARTY IS DEAD!

    October 6, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. James

    Here’s a breakdown of debt ceiling increases before Obama by presidency:

    ■ Dwight D. Eisenhower (R): 4
    ■ John F. Kennedy (D): 5
    ■ Lyndon B. Johnson (D): 7
    ■ Richard M. Nixon (R): 7
    ■ Gerald R. Ford (R): 6
    ■ Jimmy Carter (D): 6
    ■ Ronald Reagan (R): 18
    ■ George H. W. Bush (R): 5
    ■ Bill Clinton (D): 4
    ■ George W. Bush (R): 7

    47 UNDER REPUBLICANS (68%)
    22 UNDER DEMOCRATS (32%)
    Interesting facts don't you think. The reporter listening to Cruz should have known these facts and asked Cruz to comment on that instead of BS the American people when it's suitable. Withholding information is the same as LYING.

    CRUZ you are a lair (and I don't mean Lawyer)!

    October 6, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. tahtye

    They are not idiots but players in a huge conspiracy to replace our democracy with an oligarchy. They will eventually destroy the US and when the world suffers an economic meltdown we will welcome them as saviors. They will do all this without us even knowing until its too late.

    October 6, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  21. Ryno

    The events that transpired these past two weeks have taught us that a vote for ANY Republican, no matter how moderate, may as well be a vote for the Tea Party.

    October 6, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  22. KLEE

    How did that narrow mined Ted Cruz manage to get so much press? He is an idiot only concerned with a very small segment of the nation. He is making impossible to vote republican!! He is NUTS!!

    October 6, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  23. Caleb

    I'm glad that somebody is finally standing up and trying to derail this mad race towards socialism. Ever since the Social Security Amendments we have been giving up our freedom and started sliding toward serfdom. As long as good men like Senator Cruz continue to stand for the principles upon which American greatness was founded, there is still hope!

    October 6, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  24. Bubba

    The GOP can never keep their true agenda a secret. That being keep America's Credit Card open for hand outs to Corporations and Banks. The GOP cannot allow American debt to serve the Working Class, unless it is in Trickle Down form where their wealthy masters get the lions share of the loot.
    The GOP needs to stop citing Jesus in their rhetoric, because they serve the very class He personally denied.
    I cannot wait for the fall of 2014 when this will change. If the Middle Class keeps a single GOP dirtbag in office, then they deserve every bit of pain they get. Time to wake up America, the GOP only wants to feed you the scraps left over from the china of the rich.

    October 6, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  25. zelskid

    I don't like Cruz, but he must be the most influential first term Senator in history

    October 6, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
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