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. Elliot

    This junior senator might go down in history as being the sole voice that took away health care from millions of people.

    October 6, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. jedi night

    Tea party member don’t know anything they think by yelling and beating their chest they right, that might of work during the caveman years but not today; they also like to scare people instead of giving them facts for example
    Reagan not Obama switched the federal government from what he
    critically called, a “tax and spend” policy, to a “borrow and spend” policy,
    where the government continued its heavy spending, but used borrowed money
    instead of tax revenue to pay the bills.
    Fact the Republicans cause this big debt by giant tax cut for the wealthy if they were serious about cutting expense then they should cut the $4 billion annually tax break to the big five oil companies—BP, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Exxon Mobil, and Shell companies, 2nd quarter profits for 2013 were a combined $19.5 billion. That comes out to $145,000 in profit per minute.

    October 6, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. Doris Durand

    He is the same kind of threat as Senator Joseph McCarthy was in the 1950's. He is scary as he really wants to destroy the U.S. A.

    October 6, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. seriously_not

    Cruz and His CULT Following Bullies are More Than Willing, Happy To Take Down The America. CULT Bully, Go Cruz, Worm!

    October 6, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. CHilidog

    Who died and made Ted Cruz King?

    October 6, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. RSC

    Ted Cruz and the Teatards are guilty of treason and should be arrested, tried, found guilty, and executed.

    October 6, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. 老屄壳子闭嘴

    All men who support Obamacare, were raped since childhood and converted to gays.

    October 6, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. solowd

    Sen. Ted Cruz is going to crash and burn.

    October 6, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. skytag

    This guy just can't seem to get enough attention. I've been discussing politics online for probably ten year and for the first time ever in the past week I've started seeing comments from angry people in other countries who can't understand why this stuff is happening. All I can do is feel embarrassed, apologize, and hope November 2014 is a bloodbath for Republicans.

    October 6, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. winchester74

    the Canadian Ham doesn't know when to quit. Giving poor people access to healthcare does no "harm." Laying off 800,000 workers does a lot of harm.

    October 6, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  11. JP Roberts

    We don't need this kind of IDIOT to in government, I hope people understand and not vote him in again. This guy has no brain he has Tea Party doing his thinking. Remember we never voted for a TEA PARTY to run our government.

    October 6, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  12. Suresh Chari

    A single idiot is being allowed to bring down a mighty nation..

    October 6, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  13. Name

    So according to Cruz, he's right about the ACA because people disagree with him? This guy is utterly insane.

    October 6, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Keep this guy in the US. Please don't send him back to Canada. We don't want him.

    October 6, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  15. MaryM

    Bye Bye Cruz, you have destroyed your career and the republican party all in 6 months. Congrats.
    And Congrats to all of you fools that followed Cruz into the abyss

    October 6, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. LouAZ

    In politics, stupidity is not a handicap. – Napoleon Bonaparte

    October 6, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. Raymond Hendrix

    "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..." This is hilarious! Cnn's pal Obama continues to shut down the government because "it is his way or the highway." The House has passed numerous bills that do not include any alteration of Obamacare at all including funding for Veterans and poor children. The Democrats refuse to pass any of them because the shut down is a cause they are "winning" - thanks to the slanted reporting of CNN and others.

    October 6, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. Rick

    There is just no conceivable way that the Affordable Care Act (known as Obamacare) would ever hurt this country and ALL of us as the United States of America defaulting on its debt, even the concept is harmful. If people thought that there was even a possibility of us doing this, U.S. Bonds would be devalued in grade, the interest rate across the board would go up as people would avoid taking the risk of buying them, the U.S. economy would implode. How can any elected official not be aware of this?

    October 6, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  19. Mr. Meow Meow Bread Crust Kitty

    Cruz is protecting my rights by stopping the government from forcing me to buy something. The government does not have the right to force an American Citizen to purchase a product. Don't confuse this argument with Auto insurance, you have a choice to not to drive, unlike with Obama care where it is forced on you even if you live off the grid in middle of the desert somewhere. At least Ted has the guts to take on the Obama social machine..... go Ted go!!

    October 6, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  20. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Let's all pray to Jesus in Heaven that Ted Cruz dies today without a savior.

    October 6, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  21. Steve

    I can't believe how far removed these guys are from the people they "represent". Even more disturbing is that they get voted into their seats by the people, but the people are powerless to remove them.

    October 6, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  22. Doug Johnston

    It would be nice is Ms. Crowley–rather simply letting Senator Cruz spout out talking points–would ask him for evidence to back up his assertions about things like the harm he believes "Obamacare" is causing.

    For example, Cruz claimed that "Obamacare" is forcing "millions of Americans into part time work."

    What evidence is there to support that claim?

    Two researchers working for the Federal Reserve in San Francisco studied the issue–in a report that was issued in August–their conclusion was "None."

    In fact, the most recent rise in the percentage of Americans working part time occurred BEFORE the ACA was enacted–occurring in the two years after the economy collapsed–an event that is actually in keeping with historical trends.

    What is the point in "interviewing" a public figure–if all the interviewer is doing is teeing up their talking points?

    October 6, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  23. jelizbrig

    Does the government remember that the American people pay their outrageous salaries? They want this they want that. The House and Senate needs to take a pay decrease or hear is a better idea how about the American people make a copy of all their bills and send them in to the government for all of you to pay you guys can afford it I know I can't. All sides mouth off at each other all because you don't like Obamacare! take care of the budget and then write up a new health care bill that will cover the problems with the health care act. good or bad you all failed to fix it before it went into law. stop thinking party and work together to make this country better stop fitting like children on a playground. or you will get my bills in the mail!!!!.

    October 6, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  24. Dave R.

    I cannot believe Republicans in both houses are stupid enough to let this guy take control like this. As an earlier post noted Cruz is Senator Joseph McCarthy reincarnated. Is this really what Republicans want??

    October 6, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  25. george

    Cruz is an idiot

    October 6, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
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