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. Jason

    These people are evil. Keep basing political gain off of real crises that wound our economy and put hundreds of thousands out of work. If anyone ever doubted evil's existence, here it is right in our faces...

    October 6, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. Sunny

    So what in the budget would you cut? Medicaid and Social Security for which people pay taxes and have a right to the benefit? Defense or your big fat salaries which you do not deserve to get?

    October 6, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  3. danny592

    Know i know hes delusional, get out the meds, out of touch with real world

    October 6, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. TEVK

    Senator Cruz would help our country immeasurably if he and his fellow congrssmen/women truly understood how to govern. I offer my prayers are for those in leadership positions that they recognize their responsibilities and respond in a humble and forthright way.

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

    I wish someone would arrest this Cuban Treasonist and put him where he belongs. The other crime is the sheep following a shepheardless leader. The media should not give him the publicity he craves. Even his physique is mispropotioned.......he has a fulsize top but short from the waist down.

    October 6, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. Tim Fotinos

    Mr Cruz doesn't get it. If he was more interested in good governance and less interested in "leverage" and controlling the president, fewer people would need to be interested in politics.

    October 6, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. Judi Powell

    WOW...talk about delusional........no wonder his BFF is Sarah Palin.

    October 6, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  8. Jack In Austin

    This is the time for tarring and feathering to be brought back. This guy needs to have it done and carried out of congress on a rail.

    October 6, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. TEVK

    Senator Cruz would help our country immeasurably if he and his fellow congrssmen/women truly understood how to govern. I offer my prayers for those in leadership positions that they recognize their responsibilities and respond in a humble and forthright way.

    October 6, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  10. Orangina

    Oh, yes. Don't worry about the electorate. You aren't supposed to be accountable to them anyways, right?

    October 6, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  11. Carl Hudson

    The real struggle here is between Senator Cruz and reality. This is a man who thinks "we're winning the battle" when most of his own party hold him in disdain. Look over your shoulder, Senator . . . only the fringe lunatics are behind you.

    October 6, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  12. Tony

    Republicans can only ruin our nation's credit once. If a default happens, what leverage do Republicans have left?

    October 6, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. mambi68

    This ideological operative playing Senator is planning to sink our country. Yes, spending needs to be controlled and there are means to do it; but not at the expense of the United States of America being a dead-beater. That is OK in banana Republics; but not in the United States of America.

    October 6, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  14. badrobot

    So every time one of the parties makes a landmark achievement, the other party can use that as leverage by threatening to tear it down? -facepalm-

    October 6, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  15. HallLadyK

    This man is freaking crazy. He should not talk at all.

    October 6, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  16. Michael

    After listening and reading the verbiage from all sides, the next election will be the measure of how much Americans disapproved or approved of the event.

    October 6, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    This Ted Cruz Canadian guy is bad for America and bad for US Congress no wonder he is from Texas please send this kid back to Canada where he was born and belongs. DO not vote this clown in any more higher office he must be a Taurus! Ted Cruz Bad for America and a whack job job anyone that agree and re vote for or with this fool needs to have their head examine. Vote them out lets go to the pools and give these whack jobs a clear message one term congressmen an never again! An Independent but WOW am i disipointed in the Republicans leadership following this fool!

    October 6, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  18. livingston

    Mr. cruz's (and the gop/teaparty) main goal is to bring down the government and destroy the economy. In America we call people who want to do that, terrorist. Americans do not negotiate with terrorist.

    October 6, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  19. mandy

    This guy lives in a dream world. Republicans are pretty much done for the next election ! Sick and tired of them.. It's truly a shame that there is people like this in this country.. The richest country in the world should lead the world in health care and help its citizens prosper not keep them down.. so that a few people make a lot of money.. There will always be rich and poor that's the way of the world but at least there should be some compassion.. May you rot in hell Cruz !

    October 6, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. Pilgrim

    Saying you're going to "pay our bills" (as Obama says we ought to) by borrowing more money is a bottomless pit currently being experienced by millions of Americans. It doesn't work; and the debt is going to our children, grandchildren, and our great-grandchildren. It extends that far.

    October 6, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  21. Thomas

    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 harm from Obamacare."
    Cruz doesn't think his actions have taken a negative toll on his party's image.

    The man is Delusional and egotistical !

    October 6, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  22. Pander Bear

    If I get the chance, I'm going to punch Ted Cruz in the face.

    October 6, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. BM

    This Ted Cruz Canadian guy is bad for America and bad for US Congress no wonder he is from Texas please send this kid back to Canada where he was born and belongs. DO not vote this clown in any more higher office he must be a Taurus! Ted Cruz Bad for America and a whack job job anyone that agree and re vote for or with this fool needs to have their head examine. Vote them out lets go to the pools and give these whack jobs a clear message one term congressmen an never again!

    October 6, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  24. Mary

    "destroy the private healthcare system?" In other words, Insurance Co ? AKA, organized crime? So the Republicans basically support war, big oil, Koch brothers and the poor put upon INSURANCE Industry? Ted Cruz, man of the people....
    " Ted does not like Americans unless they are the "upper class"; Ted does not want healthcare for all because he is a Donkey's Ass....

    October 6, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  25. Bob6

    It is beyond my comprehension how someone like Cruz can get elected. If I were in an emergency situation, like a natural disaster, I sure wouldn't want him around. I'd rather be with someone who pulls together and wants to solve problems. What a bloated ego.

    October 6, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
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