October 6th, 2013
11:16 AM ET
10 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. Richard Lionhearted

    The Senator answered it best when he responded to this question:

    "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. Does the Senator 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."

    You are right Senator, we are worried. We are worried about our jobs, about the economy, about the American Dream, about living day to day, about our kids having a brighter future than we had. But you don't get it, because you are far too narcissistic. All you see is how a freshman Senator can better his visibility and career.

    No sir, you are not a Mr. Smith who went to Washington (who cared about mom and pop and apple pie). You are too much of a 1/2 half of a one-percenter who doesn't know how the rest of us 99 percenters live. You are too far above that to get your hands dirty with the rest of us.

    The closest thing I can say you resemble is a past Senator by the name of Joe McCarthy who, as a freshman Senator, picked his issues to make himself famous, and wrecked a lot of people and things in the process.

    October 6, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. mike

    These loons willing to have America flushed down the crapper because they do not respect the democratic process. Look if they were smart (yes I know it is an oxymoron to associate these tea baggers with smart), but if they were, they would let ACA be implemented. If it is as bad as they say, then let it fail and run on that platform in 2014 and 2016. Sorry Cruz, you don't let America default because of your crazy ideology. Thank god this ex-Canadian cannot run for higher office. If I see him anywhere in IOWA, I am going to get a certified copy of that Canadian birth certificate, which he renounced, and go to every town hall meeting and bring it up.

    October 6, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. Tom McGuire

    I thought Ms Crawley's on air interview of Ted Cruz was abysmal. No questions about the money, where it is coming from, how much, who is organizing these efforts etc. Did she not read this morning's important NYT piece about the vast amount of money coming from people like the Kochs, Ed Meese, Heritage and other far right groups who are bankrolling a major effort to support the defunding? Why ignore it? And why did she concede that yeah, both sides are refusing to negotiate. Neither the Senate nor the house must or should negotiate with someone who is blackmailing the American people. If that is the best she can do, she ought to be consigned to lesser political figures, people easier to interview and with less baggage than Cruz.

    October 6, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. Watchfuliiiii

    Extortion plain and simple. They should no be the extortionists party rather than the teapublicans.

    October 6, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. NameLeeAT

    Like it or not, ACA was upheld by the SC. If they hate it that bad, win the WH and change it, until then, serve the entire country and not just your party. Washington is a joke and that is both parties. They need to stop thinking Democrat, Republicans, or Tea party and start thinking American, because that is the only way that we all get a fair shake.

    October 6, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  6. Huh

    Green eggs and ham!!!!

    October 6, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  7. Sam

    Here is my issue...why not have a health insurance to go with the individual from employer to employer instead of having an employer hold it over a persons head that if they leave seeking a better position for more money. This is a ruse made by the republicans forgetting about American is built on the middleclass. Why does the rich want to forget this ....Ted Cruz your blocking the next Ronald Wilson Reagan from ever showing his face...Sit down get quiet and let get back to rebuilding this country. This Law is as bad as car insurance...we all got to have and its mandatory why not take issue with that too..oh you can't its already here.

    October 6, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  8. kenneypco

    "Not remotely," Cruz said. "But I also think far too many people are worried about politics." Cruz would rather American citizens not worry themselves with what politicians are doing. Maybe we should just sit down and shut up instead of being involved in our government.

    "No. 1, we should look for some significant structural plan and reduce government spending.

    To that end Senator Cruz voted against the Sandy relief bill that would help many Americans affected by this natural disaster. He voted for the Keystone XL pipeline which could cause an environmental disaster while ONLY providing about 1,000 temporary jobs for Americans. He is about small government and about getting government out of the private lives of American citizens EXCEPT when it comes to the reproductive process. Then the federal government should be involved with interfering with the private lives of American citizens and their healthcare professionals.

    No. 2, we should avoid new taxes,

    Except when it comes to restraining taxes that students pay via student loans. Then it is OK to have interest rates increase as he showed by voting against bills to lower the costs for higher education on American students.

    and No. 3, we should look for ways to mitigate the harms from Obamacare."

    The Affordable Healthcare Reform Act is just starting to be fully inacted as of October 1st, 2013 yet the Senator has been working against it since he got into office. He has called it a failure even though it hasn't really even started. It was enacted into law and upheld by the Supreme Court as the law of the land yet he wants to sidestep the system we have in place and deny funding for the program. Deny funding then claim that it failed. If it does fail it will because people like him didn't fund it. Maybe we should look at putting his healthcare plan into the Affordable Healthcare reform and see how hard he works to get rid of it. Maybe we should tie his salary to the continued funding of the government and see how hard he fights to keep the government dysfunctional.

    He is a terrorist plain and simple. He wants to hold the American people hostage to his whims and beliefs. He doesn't mind funding war efforts but hates funding efforts to help his fellow American better our entire country.

    October 6, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Cruz said that letting Obamacare go further into effect "would destroy the private health care system."

    GOOD! Let it burn. Most people can't afford private health care – yet they make "too much" to qualify for medicaid. Catch 22 for the working poor. Not to mention Cruz is from Texas, a state notorious for backward thinking (but you can't tell them that).

    October 6, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  10. Mathew Groggings

    Goodness...how dumb are these Tea Partyers anyways? Just when we thought it couldn't get whackier. Nutjobs, all around.

    October 6, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  11. Dase

    There is a racial motivation to go against Obama among these Republicans. They are white supremacists. It is sad when you consider the damages that will last longer than Obama's second term. I personally am considering adjusting for a default. In fact I have been for a week.

    October 6, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  12. Chris

    Another reason to never vote GOP again. I'm done. Have a good one.

    October 6, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  13. mary

    This guy not only looks like McCarthy, he may even be McCarthy reincarnated!

    October 6, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  14. paul

    Josh Daver...I hope you can get yourself educated. The debt ceiling does NOT give Obama a blank check to spend more money. It allows him to pay money that has ALREADY been spent. Have a debate about the budget, decrease spending, cut expenses...we are ALL for that. But what this ignorant Canadian wants to do is prevent America from paying the bills for expenses it has already incurred...Do you get why that is wrong?

    October 6, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  15. Sam A.

    Someone posted how can you increase the volume of new paying customers into private healthcare system bad for business? I honestly think Sen Cruz knows exactly who is talking to making such crazy stupid statement. So business is bad for me when I increase the volume of my customers, really Mr. Cruz? His Communist/dictatorship mentality is really showing, I know what is good for you people and I am the government. First they preached that government is bad and now they are fulfilling their own prophecy. Now we all know why the government is bad, the Republican Party.

    October 6, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  16. Djflorida

    I think that any terrorist organization would love to paralyze congress and bring the whole US government to a halt. But they couldn't. The didn't have enough jumbo jets nor martyrs to get the job done. Yet Cruz and Meadows jumped right in there and got the job done for them. But neither they nor the Tea Party realized just what they were doing. We're all human and it's an ego thing I believe. If one can get something done, it produces a feeling of self worth and feeds the ego. It doesn't even matter if the thing done wasn't good or was even negative. Maybe it is the power trip that counts. But I cannot understand why anyone would get themselves elected and then go to Washington only to demonstrate so clearly to everyone that they are under the control of the organization to whom they owe their political ascendency (in this case, the Tea Party). To constantly show by their actions (and talking points) that they've sold out to the Tea Party (or anyone else), should be one thing you'd think they would try to hide (or even deny at least publicly).

    October 6, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  17. mary

    This guy not only looks like McCarthy, he may even be McCarthy reincarnated
    .

    October 6, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. Bill Davis

    And Joh. Boehner's going to fall in line with this enemy of America.

    October 6, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. Mr X

    Ted Cruz is a dangerous radical. Where are the moderates? It's unnerving and sad to see our country implode. Someone please get this wrecking ball in check.

    October 6, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  20. AB

    Why do the good people in Texas keep selecting clowns like Cruz to represent them in Washington? Hope Texans have more sense at the polls next time.

    October 6, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  21. Chris

    Checks and Balances not revenge and vendettas. Let's solve the whole crisis by going down to the WWII Memorial and yell at the Park Rangers some more too.

    October 6, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  22. Letssee

    Cruz is a traitor to this nation. He deserves to be arrested, charged, and if found guilty, executed.

    October 6, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  23. Daniel Maddigan

    If Cruz and his tea party violate the 14th amendment they should be prosecuted for the capital crime of treason.

    October 6, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  24. Karen Eckardt

    Hello Ted Cruz,

    When you come up with a plan to give health care to EVERYONE,, then you can speak, until then.. Please go away.

    October 6, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  25. paul

    embarrassing........simply embarrassing..............all of them

    October 6, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
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