October 6th, 2013
11:16 AM ET
11 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. Guest

    Do you think we could use these negotiations to force Fox to bring back Firefly? Anyone else have a request?

    October 6, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  2. Grant

    It is interesting how the conservative right thinks Senator Cruz is correct in holding middle class American's hostage by shutting down the government. If he were a Democrat those same voices would be calling him a Castro Commie and calling for him to be sent back to Cuba on the next boat.

    October 6, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  3. regororedam

    What's the difference between Cruz and a septic tank? A septic tank is below ground; Cruz is above ground.
    We need to fix that.

    October 6, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  4. 22

    Why are the republicans afraid of the ACA?Because it will benefit a large number of them ,even the tea-baggers..They don't want that because Obama gets the credit if it works!

    October 6, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  5. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    This Canadian illigal should be hung from a lamp post on k street where he gets his money from , the GOP garbage of America folks!!!!!!!!

    October 6, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  6. sp13st

    Cruz and the GOP are causing more damage to the USA than Al Qaeda did on 9/11

    October 6, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. james sullivan

    Republican Party Tea Party Nazi Party same agenda?

    October 6, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  8. Andrew

    No 1: Ted Cruz is not KING and DOES NOT get to ORDER US AROUND.
    No 2: Ted Cruz will NEVER get his way.
    No 3: Ted Cruz is an anti-American jerk-Texan carpetbagger transplant, who can GO POUND SALT!
    No 4: As an American military veteran, I'll NEVER allow America to take orders from Ted Cruz! Never!

    October 6, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. Bobby Ray

    Ted Cruz=enemy combatant

    October 6, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  10. SuZieCoyote

    Texas and the majority of other red states suck more federal money than the blue states per capita. If they want to cut spending, they can start with their own bubba's. They whine out of one side of their mouths and stuff their faces at the public trough as fast as possible.

    October 6, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  11. Doc

    So, the Republicans think they get to spend money but then they don't have to pay the bill when it comes due. The Republicans run the House – they passed the bills that spent the money. Now they just want to walk away. How ironic after all their hand waiving during the housing crisis. I guess that's all it was after all – hand waiving.

    October 6, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  12. Grant

    And yes....I know Cruz is from Canada...

    October 6, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  13. Red

    The US cannot default on the public debt, and anyone who says otherwise is lying. If he's a politician, he's willfully lying.

    Read the 14th Amendment's Section 4, which says, in part: "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law ... shall not be questions."

    The Executive Branch may have to manage the government, but it cannot default on the pubic debt. Frankly, I'd like to see how the President manages the country when, and if, the debt ceiling is not raised.

    The politicians and press may moan and groan, but debt service will go on, and if it doesn't, someone will have to learn to spell "High rimes and Misdemeanors".

    October 6, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Ted S(Cruz) America. That will be the headline after the U.S. defaults due to the joker's and his party's folly. I wonder if there is anything, we as the U.S. citizens can do anything but sit and watch as we fall in the abyss.

    October 6, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. celietz

    LOL! I think I remember experiencing this same thing when I was in first grade. "Give me what I want and play by my rules or I am taking my toys and going home." Well, children, it's time to grow up.

    October 6, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  16. miamihurricane

    What this guy does,. is prove that there is no leadership in the Republican Party. Leave it to the GOP / TP to choose another Village Idiot to be the face of the party. Compare to this guy Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Donald Trump, Michelle Bachman, and the "Pizza Man" look like Abraham Lincolns. If this guy is the GOP candidate in 2016
    the Dems could run the Crazy Weiner from NY and still beat this guy.

    October 6, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  17. Nancy

    Candy was obsessed with getting an answer from Jack Lew about what will happen (and when) if we don't raise the debt ceiling. This line of questioning is perplexing. Why would we even want to take a chance of something bad happening? Ted Cruz had an easy time today- and further got to advocate his own political agenda.

    October 6, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  18. simplefaith

    Who is this guy Ted Cruz? Thought Romney was bad, but Cruz is worse. If he thinks he can become President in 2016, he has got to be sick. He is trying to make a name for himself and he is going about it all wrong. If thinks people will love him, he is nuts. First we did not like him, now we hate him!!!!!!!!!!!Yuk. Ted Cruz you are hurting your own people. What's up with that! I would rather vote for Chris Christi, Rubio, anyone is better than is shady character Ted Cruz. Fortunately for us Hillary Clinton will our next President of the United States because all the people you are hurting will remember. Ted Cruz you are a ruined man and you did it on your own.

    October 6, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    I am part of the majority of Americans who believe in the ACA. What really irks me is this idiot Ted Cruz imposing his warped belief on us and the man with the perpetual orange tan Boehner should grow a pair of cajones.

    October 6, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  20. Rob

    What's the difference between Ted Cruz and a Ford Pinto? While they both pose a danger to families, one of them has at least been recalled.

    October 6, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  21. anonymous

    I don't understand why nobody challenges Cruz on the UPS health insurance thing. They cut off health insurance for spouses that were eligible for insurance on their own jobs. That's been going on for years as companies look to cut costs. It's really a matter of putting the costs where they belong, not the affordable care act.

    October 6, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  22. Thinks2010

    The Tea Party is clearly the tail wagging the Boehner dog. The outrage of Republicans and the Tea Party is so phony it would be laughable if the issues involved were not so serious. The Republicans/Tea Partisans are like a child who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar who is spitting cookie crumbs out his mouth while claiming in an outraged voice that he never touched the cookies.

    October 6, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  23. Wake Up America!

    Sure, and we all know where he lead us to the last time. Let's put it up for National Vote instead of going nowhere.

    October 6, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  24. tantalum

    You know what you could use as leverage GOP? An election or two where the ACA was a major issue. Oh wait, the President won that mandate twice. Whether you support it or not the fact is the voting public approved of this act. The polls are clear a large majority of people want it, want more than it or want to wait and see. And that ignores the fact that if you don't tie an ACA idea to the scary word Obamacare the large majority of people approve of the idea. The GOP hasn't a leg to stand on. The president needs to dig in and and show a backbone.

    October 6, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  25. Merlel

    Hey I'm Canadian I pay less than $100 a month for total healthcare / no limits. That bring said don't go blaming Cruz's stupifity on us, he's all yours lol!

    October 6, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
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