October 6th, 2013
11:16 AM ET
6 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. 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 |
  2. Bgreen415

    Another "Tailgunner Joe McCarthy". I hope he is relegated to the woodshed before he causes as much damage as that one did.

    October 6, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  3. loveone

    I say we march on Washington on the 16th if these morons have not restarted the gov. and raise the debt ceiling!

    October 6, 2013 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  4. BB

    Um, Snr. Cruz, you're not reigning in the executive, you're reigning in a decision made by a majority of the US voters. Do you really wanna go there?

    October 6, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  5. independant jim

    its time for the democrats to just say NO

    October 6, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  6. Missouri Mike

    This is a sad day for America. The GOP has pointed the horse at the cliff and started popping the whip. We the people need to start voting all the Republicans out of office. The only way to change America, if one is left, is to vote on every level. Remove them and re-gerimander the districts so they lose their primary shananigan leverage. We as a People must move in mass to save this Once Great Country, or all that has been sacrificed will be for naught. Shame on us all for not voting, donating, advocating, and activily working to shape our political landscape. God knows the 1% sure has been busy while the rest contently let others shape the future. We are all to blame, and our country needs us to be more active than ever before. Call, Speak Out, Donate (even small amounts) in Mass, Volunteer, Step up or get stepped on... It is all we have left.

    October 6, 2013 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  7. AKG

    The U.S. should never negotiate with terrorists. Ted Cruz and the Tea Party jihadis are terrorists, plain and simple.

    October 6, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  8. illwill

    Whether I'm for Obamacare or not is in the long scheme of things completely irrelevant, Pay the Nations Debt. I understand that fighting for what you believe in is noble and all but if we default on our debts then changing some law which has been in practice for less than a minute will be the absolute least of our worries.

    October 6, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  9. Chris

    I do not appreciate being held hostage by my government on both sides. You are all criminals and the people you are suppose to protect and represent are the same ones that you are harming. Grow up. Collaborate or get out.

    October 6, 2013 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  10. Sarah

    John Boehner and his caucus, say they want the regular American Citizen to be treated like the big company and get a delay in the ACA. Can we get the same tax breaks too?

    October 6, 2013 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  11. TheBudgetTruth

    So I understand that people are trying to call out Obama for overspending. How is it then that THE DEMOCRATS ALREADY AGREED TO THE REPUBLICAN SEQUESTRATION LEVEL BUDGET NUMBERS? Don't be a hater.

    October 6, 2013 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  12. dmwinsd

    "Meet our demands or we'll shut down the government." Done – Shutdown.
    "Meet our demands or we'll let the nation become a fiscal deadbeat." Coming soon – Default.
    "Meet our demands or we'll hold our breath until we turn blue and die." We can always hope.

    If you think the Tea Party has your best interests at heart, think again.

    October 6, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    This guy is a fraud......only cares about himself......

    October 6, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  14. steve

    Use the debt ceiling as intended.

    To stop runaway borrowing and spending.

    Why do we have a debt ceiling if we just keep raising the limit?
    ---

    As long as we have misinformed people like this, our country is doomed.

    October 6, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  15. Mary

    Senator Cruz is a man
    with no moral compass. He uses America for his own gain.

    October 6, 2013 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  16. davete2013

    It's interesting how Ted Cruz has slammed moderate Republicans not long ago calling them RINOs (Republican in name only) because they do adhere to his extremist views. But the truth is Cruz is a RINO. He's not really a Republican but an anarchist who is actively trying to destroy this nation by dismantling our sacred democratic institution. This Canadian born Cuban is sadly mistaken. He will fall flat on his face. Just wait and see. In 2014 let's send him packing!

    October 6, 2013 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  17. AV

    Most of these Republicans have private business and are having lot of money in private insurances companies. Read his comments "Cruz said that letting Obamacare go further into effect "would destroy the private health care system." Private healthcare is money suction companies. Let them have a competitor, this is free market, why not a new player in market

    October 6, 2013 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  18. Mary

    We should be very careful in granting citizenship to Cubans. Mr Cruz is tempered by what was instilled in him by his Cuban Father. Why did they settle in Canada then leave? Did his Mother renounce her American citizenship?! Just asking. Me Cruz seems more programmed than tied to his cause.

    October 6, 2013 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  19. Elle

    He only cares about playing politics rather than doing what's right. And then people wonder why Obama and others aren't willing to negotiate. You can't negotiate when people are like this and are holding people hostage. I believe there's a place where the US sends terrorists? Guantanamo? Can we send him there?

    October 6, 2013 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  20. sno

    Pelosi and Reid is a joke.
    I support T Cruz and his efforts .

    October 6, 2013 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  21. zapdbf11

    The people with the tin foil hats just might be right, grab a bunker while you can. - A self fulfilled proficy .

    October 6, 2013 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  22. The Caveman

    Terrible Ted says "too many people are worried about politics". All the while this kidnapper holds the county hostage with his politics and ego. Yet still he has people buying into his rubbish.

    Shame on the majority of the Republican House Members for supporting Cruz while he plays with our nations future. If ever the GOP was out of touch with the middle class, this is that day.

    October 6, 2013 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  23. Eg

    All that has to be done is raise taxes and everyone including the rich pay their fair share and america will be ok. You don't have to make no cuts... The problem is that these smart guys in congress don't want taxes for the rich, why are they protecting the rich. Are they profiting somehow, does this help them with their own taxes. People need to open their eyes and get rid of these congressman who care about themselves and their families. Only. We need congressmen who care about the American without any prejudice at all.

    October 7, 2013 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  24. Jan

    DOMESTIC TERRORISM is what this group of teabaggers should be charged with; The following is the definition of Domestic Terrorism according to Section 802 of the USA PATRIOT Act (Pub. L. No. 107-52): "A person engages in Domestic Terrorism if they do an act 'dangerous to human life' that is a violation of the criminal laws of the United States, if the act appears to be intended to (I) INTIMIDATE OR COERCE A CIVILIAN POPULATION; (ii) INFLUENCE THE POLICY OF A GOVERNMENT BY INTIMIDATION OR COERCION; or (iii) to AFFECT THE CONDUCT OF A GOVERNMENT BY MASS DESTRUCTION, assassination or kidnapping. Additionally the acts have to occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States and if they do not, may be regarded as International Terrorism. I am of the opinion that stopping WIC could indeed lead to harm, afterall they have literally taken formula from the mouths of babies, and terrified mothers...

    October 7, 2013 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  25. RichardLB

    Cruz is a dangerous extremist. Rather than promote progress, evolution, and innovation, he talks political double talk (attempt to filibuster, then turn around and vote FOR what he attempted to filibuster!).

    This isn't some game, and he treats it like it is.. He can't see that his jockeying for noteriery is having a negative impact upon hundreds of thousands (I'm not going to get paid when this is all over - nor should I since I'm not allowed to work).

    Friggin spoiled children - the whole lot of them. people like him are supposed to represent their constituents.. It's not the other way around where they pretent to lead and the constituents follow like sheep.

    October 7, 2013 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
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