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. Galileo Galileo

    Cruz is a loose cannon on a personal rampage. This man has nothing to do with good government.

    October 6, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. 34t m3

    Who the f is this post-op looking fool? How does one tranny have so much power?

    October 6, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  3. 34t m3

    Who the f is this post-op looking fool? How does one tra|\||\|y have so much power?

    October 6, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. frankturbi

    Be sure that if my mortgage interest, credit card and car loan rates goes up, I will use every single penny left after food to fund destroying the Republican Party. We all, working and middle class, should let them know the implications of a default in our monthly struggling to properly pay all our obligations. We keep this country running, their demagoguery needs to stop. They don't love this country. We do.

    October 6, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. Jeff

    Far too many people worried about politics????? You have got to be kidding me, politics have taken the food off the table and destroyed the lives of far too many people....we have no freaking choice. It's not worry Mr Moron it's called survival.

    October 6, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. Mandee

    Let's hang this guy, and all the treasonous filth in our government.

    October 6, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. PlainAndSimple

    Imagine this -

    *** A couple get a divorce but maintain a joint checking account for their children's expenses.

    *** They meet at the first of the month to meet and decide how much they are going to spend for their children's clothes for the coming school year.

    *** One partner wants to spend $250, the other $750. They compromise on $500.

    *** The bill comes at the end of the month for $500.

    *** One partner states "Either you pay $450 and I pay $50 or I will not sign the check and both our credit scores will be ruined".

    I think this is a good analogy for what the Republicans are doing with the debt ceiling right now. It is flatly dishonest to agree to something at one point and then demand additional concessions after the fact. If there is some flaw in my logic please let me know.

    Seriously, if you agree with this assessment post it in other forums. It bears repeating ad nauseam until this tactic dies out completely. It really is the core of the situation and illustrates what is going on in the simplest of terms. It is exactly how the Pres should be presenting it to the American people and if the Republicans reply is that "Dems do it too" (as much as a false equivalent as that may be) then they can use the same example next time they are in power and hopefully neither side will continue to attempt blatant extortion in the future.

    October 6, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  8. SXZ2

    We continue to see our country held hostage by the crybabies ot the Tea Party. Obama won the election and the Dems held the Senate and won the popular vote for Congress by over a million votes. These pseudo-patriots claim to love our country but their racist hatred of Obama is doing more damage to our country than Al Qaeda.

    October 6, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. Dave

    Hey GOP/TeaParty! Hands off my Country!

    October 6, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. BillfromFFX

    It's obvious the Cruz wants to write history. When his time comes, his brain should be placed in a walnut shell and placed on display in the Smithsonian. Oh wait, if the federal government is closed, nobody would be able to see it. He seems to run in the pack of guys that, if the game didn't go their way, they take their ball and go home. I guess that when you're down to one, ya gotta be careful.

    October 6, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. Guest

    If and when thr GOP dumps the Tea Party, I'll consider voting for them again. Until then, I have no choice but to vote for ALL the liberals.

    October 6, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  12. Emile_Mervin

    Given that Republicans want an Affordable Health Care Act that reflects their preferences, why doesn't Cruz give Obamacare a try for one year to see how it will work and then try to tweak it or even defund it next year? Is it possible he is scared that Obamacare just might work without incurring any significant costs to the treasury? Or is he scared that Obamacare will affect the ability of the Republican financial backers to continue exploiting America's broken healthcare system? Canada has a national health care system that works just fine so why can't America have such a system? Ironically, Ted Cruz happens to be a Canadian citizen, so he should tell America why the system works in Canada but it can't work in America!

    October 6, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  13. Sam I am

    So, you are using my life and hundreds of millions of other as LEVEARGE, nice?! So,much for "united",

    October 6, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. Srjsac

    Mitigate the harms of ACA? Finally he tells us what the harms are: "destroy private healthcare system". Will his next move be to try and mitigate the harms of Medicare? This guy is delusional. He says he knows the public is blaming the GOP and yet he doesn't think that will take a negative toll on his party.

    October 6, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  15. ironman59

    So this clown thinks it's his job to "reign in" a President that was elected not once but twice by the nation as a whole. While he was only elected by a bunch of tea-billies in tex-ass. Not only that a state that hates "fern-ners" elects someone born in anothe country. Keep diggin that hole gop, in a couple of more election cycles we will have 100% Democrats in the House.

    October 6, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  16. BK GRANDMA

    The man is an idiot! Hopefully he will keep acting this way and the Democrats can retake the House in 2014.
    It is time for the American people to tell the real Republicans to stop listening to The Teabaggers. I am a registered Republican who plans on voting a straight ticket of Democrats in 2014.

    October 6, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  17. agarcia

    Not everyone in the GOP is like this... Actually, a lot my GOP friends are completely against this BS... While they do not agree with ACA (They actually despise it), they value and appreciate our system which by ACA was ratified... Their view is simple... We don't want ACA... so let's go out and win the next election and then we can go about it modifying/repealing ACA... Shutting down the government and all this nonsense is just handing out yet another victory to us the Dems...

    Being against something and standing up to it is at the heart of what being an American is... But this is starting to look like Italy... lol

    October 6, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  18. Joe Silva

    Obamacare is casing Americans to loose jobs? How's that it's created over 200 new companies that have signed up for the new exchanges even before it started. Thousand of people are out of work right now because of YOU. Not to forget you're hurting our fragile recovering economy, indeed the worlds as well.

    October 6, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  19. bobhamiltonchicago

    Cruz is drunk with the power the Republicans have given him. He needs to be reined in and detoxed.

    October 6, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  20. james sullivan

    Be sure to check all politicians back ground next election,vote out any all republican and tea party candidates,they do not represent the American people. They represent big business and foreign interest.

    October 6, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  21. wilnel1984

    With this and Boehner's statement, it's official.

    The Republicans are attempting a coup d'état.

    October 6, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  22. Me 3

    GOP are a bunch of jerks. They would not reduce the deficit by raising taxes on the millionaires and billionaires or cutting subsidies to big oil and wasteful government defense contractors. However, they cut food stamps for the poor and hold the country hostage over Obamacare. They took pay checks away from 800,000 government workers. They are screwing aroudn with those peoples lives. Make sure you Dems wote these guys out at the next election.

    October 6, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  23. Key Typer

    Why isn't the insurance industry backing them up? Why isn't Wall St.? Because they all know he is talking out his rear. The Tea Party remains valid only through inducing hysteria-level fear. They must keep up the klaxon calls about the ACA to seem even remotely effective. It also helps them b/c it creates a distraction for their real agenda of limiting voting rights and effectively outlawing abortion nationwide. These people should be charged with conspiracy to commit treason. They are deliberately wiling to endanger the financial standing of a nation to try to force a lawfully decided issue their way. They don't care about the consequences. If that isn't treasonous, I don't know what is.

    October 6, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  24. jan

    Why is Texas and the Tea party allowing a Foreigner to dotheir talking? Did they check his papers yet?

    October 6, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  25. Warren

    If Ted Cruz and Michele Bachmann had a baby, we would know that Satan was here on earth.

    October 6, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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