October 6th, 2013
11:16 AM ET
12 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. James_in_Canada

    I read many post commenting about Cruz running for president. Doesn't the US constitution prevent anyone not born in the USA from running for the POTUS?

    October 6, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  2. Shakeup welcome

    Millions of Americans welcome the shake-up of the recent status quo in DC.

    Senator Cruz is successfully challenging the liberal progressive stronghold in DC and the corrupt media that supports it.

    As a result, the opposition party is finally representing the interests of the millions who oppose ObamaCare and other unsustainable overspending.

    October 6, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  3. Press "1" for down

    There is something called "Political Capitol".
    This Cruz guy just blew his hole wad, and is now BANKRUPT.
    Even other Tea Heads are running away from him.

    I am in fact gloating over this.
    Very B A D political move.
    The price will be awesome.

    October 6, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  4. Crystal Balls

    Boehner will be ousted as house leader.
    SANE Republicans will put someone more "Moderate" in control.
    This was a political crapshoot, and they LOST !

    October 6, 2013 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  5. Jim Bob

    Cruz is in a better place than either Reid, Obama, or Boehner. We are all debating about his value.

    October 6, 2013 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  6. Crystal Balls

    *** History Repeats

    Didn't the democrats shut down the country a total of 10 times during the Reagan years?

    NO.

    October 6, 2013 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  7. NYReviewer

    Mr. Cruz please keep going, you're fracturing your own party, and helping the other side a lot. Thanks!

    October 6, 2013 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  8. Dan

    Never mind al Qieda targets; Delta Force should be going after Cruz and his Tea Party terrorists and extortionists – otherwise known as SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion).

    October 6, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  9. dre

    Ted Cruz is a extremist who is unrealistic in his approach . This guy is from my home state and he is an bad example of what Texas stand for and what most working class citizens think.

    October 6, 2013 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  10. Swamp Urchin

    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."

    It just went into affect you MORON
    Freaking Liars.

    October 6, 2013 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  11. Clarke

    Who is this person. We need to do 1,2, and. 3. Okay, so what is your plan, details, details, you can't just say it, why is it bad,, how will you fix it, what will it cost, where will the money come from. Anyone of us can go on TV and say all those general things. I want the action plan, I want the benchmarks. Talk is cheap. Again, who is this this guy?

    October 6, 2013 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  12. WachetAuf

    I tried to come up with something "pithy" to say and have now realized that Crux and Boehner are also trying hard to find something "pithy" to say to the American people. They do it often. They just keep "pithing" on themselves. The problem is that their "pith" splatters on all of us.

    October 6, 2013 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  13. Free Is Not Free

    I admit to being satisfied by the comments.
    Its almost 10 to 1.
    You Tea party/GOP lovers have sold you soul to the devil.
    You not only lost......YOU LOST BIG TIME.
    I will enjoy watching Ted Cruz go down in flames

    October 6, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  14. AMERICAFIRST

    Cruz? He doesn't even know how government works. Thought he was doing a filibuster. Didn't realize the other Senators said last one out, turn out the lights. He stayed up all night, then voted against his own stance. What a tooL.

    October 6, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  15. Alan

    This whole situation is a travesty. Our founding fathers were very clever in how they set up our form of government. BIG GOVERNMENT was deemed evil and we adopted the concept of federalism where the states retained power, not an over-bloated federal top down brutal entity. Now because the government is so HUGE, when there is this threat of a shutdown that can affect the economy because the government is now essentially a large part of the economy!!!! We can thank the socialists, the liberal democrats, and yes, the Rhino Republicans for this mess!!!!!
    To add further to our demise, the government has taken God out of our school systems, and are using tax payer money to fund abortions. God will not bless a nation that does this. Whether your belief is this or not, God's written word states very clearly that those nations that bless Israel will be blessed and those that don't will be cursed. So, it is obvious we are in a serious decline due to this administration's foreign policy towards Israel.
    I can't wait for the atheists and agnostics to jump on my post. My response to them is look at Ezekiel 37, 38, and 39 written thousands of years ago; with the restoration of Israel as a nation being fulfilled and what is currently happening in the middle east is a prophecy getting ready to be fulfilled in the end times.
    If you are a Christian, then you have hope in these hopeless times. If you are not and refuse to accept the Lord as your Savior, then you will have to endure the 7 year tribulation which is at our door step.
    It is amazing to watch how the middle east is playing out to meet the fulfillment of the prophesy. Iran (Persia) is bent on destroying Israel. Gog and Magog (Russia and it's current ruler) along with Syria, Turkey and a few other nations are currently antagonistic to Israel. Israel is feeling more and more isolated per the prophesy. But when the battle occurs God will divinely intervene and then ushers in the tribulation. In the end, there will be justice, God's justice.

    October 6, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  16. Mary D

    “Americans are too concerned with politics” according to Ted Cruz? On the contrary, Mr. Cruz, you are not worried enough about Americans. During this shutdown, I am not getting paid. Who is going to fund my mortgage – never mind a healthcare bill you all have tried to vote out 41 times. Since that hasn’t played out well, now my federal gov paycheck is your political hostage? Thanks for proving my father right, – I shouldn't have gone into public service...public service is for suckers. When can we the people vote on term limits!?

    October 6, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  17. dkc2001

    It's not leverage, it's called taking hostage.

    October 6, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  18. sara

    Use the Full Faith and Credibility of the United States for Leavage in his own country. Now that's REAL patriotic. He's a loser.

    October 6, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  19. rs

    And Arresting domestic terrorists like Cruz is the best way to promote better government and domestic tranquility.

    October 6, 2013 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  20. nintex

    I don't play poker, or really know much about the game, but I think that when one party (the President and Democrats) hold all the good cards, and the other party (Cruz and the Tea Bags) hold nothing, that the one who has a crappy hand just folds and gives up, conceding that he couldn't beat the good hand. Cruz is trying to bluff us into thinking he's got a good hand, right? Everyone but him knows better. How does he think he has anything to negotiate with, given that the ACA is law and people are starting to try it and will be liking it more as time goes on and they realize the benefits they are receiving? Time to fold, Cruz.

    October 6, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  21. truehoosier62

    Press "1" for down,
    Boy, are you ever in for a big surprise. We haven 't even gotten started. By all means, though, carry on with your delusions, be happy.

    October 6, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  22. rich

    Hello to everyone that has me listed as friend.
    As you know our elected officials have decide to shut down the Government, and are unwilling to work with each other and do what is best for the country.
    Their decision may not affect you all directly or as much as it does others. I feel that as citizens we are being let down by the bickering and inability of all parties of the government to work together to come up with a fair compromise to allow the government to operate and take care of the country.
    I’m not going to lay blame on the Republicans, Democrats, or President Obama because I feel they are all equally to blame for the current mess that this country is in.
    We are all entitled to the great leadership, and when I casted my vote, I gave my trust to the individual(s) to provide that leadership to do what is best for this country not their political party. We can all agree or disagree on many issues and that is human nature, but there comes a time when enough is enough and the demand to work together becomes a grater demand and result in a greater outcome.
    Think of the words spoken by Patrick Henry “Let us trust God, and our better judgment to set us right hereafter. United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs. Look at this quote by Colin Powell “But just as they did in Philadelphia when they were writing the constitution, sooner or later, you've got to compromise. You've got to start making the compromises that arrive at a consensus and move the country forward.”

    So this is what I’d like everyone to do and it comes from a movie Network (1976) I want you yell, tweet, email, or call the leadership in D.C. on 7 Oct 2013 at 5pm your time. Message or scream 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore! Next time you vote remember that what the current leadership has done.
    I wonder what would happen if there was a national do not go to work on that same day, and we as the people of the United States shut down the country. This would be a strong message to our elected officials that we are as mad as hell, and we are not going to take this anymore.

    October 6, 2013 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  23. unretired05

    Canada wouldn't have him.

    October 6, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  24. Uthor

    Ted Cruz is a Southern hick who bought a nice suit.

    October 6, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  25. sara

    Candy gave a "soft" interview with the Canadian that Shut our government down. Even sadder to watch this jerk "gloat" over wasting taxpayer's money while they lose their jobs, child care and head start for their children.

    October 6, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
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