Cruz: Not enough votes now for Obamacare shutdown threat
August 25th, 2013
09:00 AM ET
9 years ago

Cruz: Not enough votes now for Obamacare shutdown threat

Updated at 10:16 a.m. ET on 8/25

(CNN) – Sen. Ted Cruz, who has crafted a plan to put the government's finances on the line if President Barack Obama's health care plan isn't stripped of its funding, said in an interview this week there aren't enough Republicans on board currently to make his idea a reality.

"We do not have the votes right now," Cruz said, noting that to succeed, he'd need 41 senators or 218 representatives to get behind his legislation - which would provide a year of funding for the federal government, minus Obamacare.

But the Texas Republican, speaking with CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley on "State of the Union," argued a coming "grass-roots tsunami" would bring over fellow conservatives to his side in the next month.

"I'm convinced there's a new paradigm in politics, that actually has Washington very uncomfortable. And it has politicians in both parties very uncomfortable," he said. "And that new paradigm is the rise of the grass roots, the ability of grass-roots activists to demand of their elected officials they do the right thing."

Opponents of Cruz's effort say he's risking a government shutdown in order to repeal Obama's health law, and argue the president would never sign a measure defunding the signature legislation of his five years in office.

But Cruz casts the effort differently: Democrats, he said, would be the ones shutting the government down if they refuse to support a measure that funds all federal programs except Obamacare.

"President Obama, Harry Reid, will scream and holler that the mean, nasty Republicans are threatening to shut down the government. And at that point, Republicans have to do something we haven't done in a long time - stand up and win the argument," he said.

"We have voted to keep the government open, to fund the government," Cruz continued. "Why is President Obama threatening to shut the government down to force Obamacare down the the throats of the American people?"

Cruz has support for his plan from a handful of Republicans in Congress, including Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah, but many others in his party have said the plan risks alienating Americans who are tired of seeing the federal government's finances put in the middle of partisan bickering.

Establishment figures like Sen. John McCain and last year's GOP presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, have voiced opposition to the plan, as has Sen. Rand Paul, a tea party-backed Kentucky senator who has aligned with Cruz in the past.

Democrats also fiercly oppose the tactic, including former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who appeared on "State of the Union" Sunday.

"These are crazy ideas from the far right," Dean said, calling Cruz "a slick spokesman."

"God help us if he gets to be anything more than the senator from Texas," he added.

Cruz was speaking with CNN in Houston, where he appeared at a town hall meeting that was part of a tour sponsored by the conservative Heritage Foundation meant to build support for the effort to defund Obamacare.

"Obamacare was passed under false pretenses," Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, a former senator, said on "State of the Union" Sunday. "The American people were lied to and they have every right to demand that their representatives stop this unfair and un-American law."

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: Ted Cruz • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. labman57

    If a tea party loon shouts into the wind, calling for a government shutdown, and nobody pays attention ...

    August 25, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  2. don in albuquerque

    Loren Smith, when you need help,we will remember to glibly step over your body. Have a nice day.

    August 25, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  3. rs

    Hector Slagg
    It is amazing of how many still don't understand the problem. Obama Care is continuing to kill jobs. That means less Tax money to run government programs. Many States are still running deficits in their budgets.
    It's amazing how many people don't get to see the truth because of lies from the GOP.
    1. The CBO says the ACA will SAVE money, reduce medicals costs and at most, affect 1% of the workplaces negatively. By any measure it's implementation to date has worked and brought solid benefits for Americans.
    2. The cost reductions are happening everywhere except where Republican Govs. and Legistlatues have interfered.
    3. The Individual Mandate came straight from the GOP.
    4. It works in Mass.

    August 25, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  4. Ron L

    Senator Cruz LOVES ATTENTION and knows most of what he says is close to impossible to achieve. But he will raise tons of money and that is what he is all about. The ONLY way Senator Cruz will ever become more than a Senator is if Americans (both Democratic and Republican) decide to allow the Republican legislators in many states to change the rules regarding the right to vote. Think about it, they are systematically doing the following:
    1) Making photo ID mandatory (which in itself is not a bad idea if you provide EVERY citizen with a FREE one, they
    are not going to do that!)
    2) Redistricting polling places. This is probably the most subtle and effective way they plan to win. They are keeping
    the predominately Republican areas smaller in size so they may only have 10,000 to 15,000 voters in one polling
    site while the Independent and Democratic areas have 30,000 to 35,000 voters per polling site.
    3) The "kicker" to making #2 above be effective is the are reducing the number of days you can vote which is simple
    math. If you have three times the number of people trying to vote in one area with the same amount of time to do
    it, odds are MANY of the people in the larger sample will either not have the time or the patience to vote.
    You see the plan is simple if your party is stuck at 45% of the vote the easiest way to fix that is to suppress 15% of the people who do not agree with your point of view!! This is very disturbing in many ways and frankly it is UN- American. The one thing most people have respected about our nation is how 'We the PEOPLE" decide (vote) on the direction our country evolves. What the Republicans are attempting to do is the direct opposite of that part of our legacy. We are not a HARD RIGHT leaning country and that is what the are attempting to make us...If that were true, would it be necessary for them to enact rules to get rid of so-called voter fraud that is about .02% of all votes cast with such radical changes?? I think not, don't be docile, fight back, and vote some of these extremist out of office.

    August 25, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. Mark in CA

    You liberals are drinking koolaid if you think this Obamacare is right for the country. They have published the rates and programs here in CA. What a joke. My wife and I will have to pay $1250/mo and have a lousy ins policy with $6000/yr deductibles! $1250/mo! The ACA is the worst job-killer we have ever seen. Do any of you liberals understand that small business creates 65% of the jobs in the US? That this ACA is killing them and the 40 hour workweek. Fact: 1,000,000 jobs created this year and 75% were part time! Yet Obama gives the BIG companies and Congress a pass. There are 20 new taxes in the ACA, so essentially we are all being taxed to fund all this stupidity. I believe that all should have healthcare, but this isn't the way to do it. Why pain 85% of the country for the other 15%. Look at Canada and the UK for great examples of govvie run health care. How many people die waiting to get care? Why does Sebelliius say that if we passed immigration reform, the ACA would be OK. Do any of you realize what that means? It means that you will be taxed so that people who are here now illegally will get benefits. People who have never paid into the system will get free stuff out of the system. And the DEmocrats will get more votes. They don't care about the middle class, all they want is votes. Do your own research and stop listening to that lying Obama. And before you condemn the "Taliban or Al Quada teabaggers" go to a meeting. They are quiet and non-violent. They are also short, because we have to get up and go to work the next day. We pay into the system, why can't our voices be heard?

    August 25, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  6. ge

    show his papers or deport

    August 25, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  7. vic , nashville ,tn

    Past 10 years we were debating Immigration reform
    Past 3 years our congress repeal Obama care 40 times
    Nothing change ,why our elected official worried about their job
    We need a real change we need third party

    August 25, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  8. Dallas

    You and Demint just need to fade away to the dust bowl of history. Just please go away.

    August 25, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. Donkey Party

    In case anyone was wondering what happened to perennial village idiot Ray E. (Georgia), he now goes under the newer, lamer handle of "Hector Slagg".

    August 25, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. Peace

    So, someone who said "we don't blink", he is the first one to do so. No wonder people don't trust politicians especially Ted Cruz who has been lying with his straight face. Take notes folks, never trust this man again.

    August 25, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. sooner79

    Money and power. That's what this is about. Cruz knows is political ideology is to far to the right to win the presidency. But it will convince those in the right wing base to fund is campaigns and future candidates by his PAC. The "grass roots movement" he is talking about isn't really about defunding ACA, no matter what he cliams. It is a funding mechanism to grow capital and power.

    August 25, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. Burt

    Alright...please tell me who is losing all these 'jobs'. And would these figures happen to ironically coincide with the hiring of workers outside of the US? And who owns these companies? (Hint, Big Business, AKA a republican)Do the math...a dollar a day or 100 dollars a day. And it's the AHCA's fault!
    And @Loren...did you you even read what you wrote? Wow, talk about hating your fellow Americans (another predudiced T-Per me thinks)! Gee I hope you don't get a serious disease when you are older and your insurer deems your condition as 'pre existing'. Which they have done to thousands of Americans for years under the existing system...yet still took their money up until that diagnosis! And who furiously lobbies the GOP? fraud! And they should all be charged and convicted! Healthcare cost have been the leading cause of backrupcies and home loss in the US covered or not covered...look it up! But that info would all be tainted, biased and outright lies right? But listening to your republican representative or Billy Bob from down the Gospel! Wow, the GOP & TP, the intentioal dumbing down of America!

    August 25, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. the hippies were right

    Do you conservative sheep realize that illegals and unemployed can now and for years have been able to go to any emergency room and get free care that out taxes pay for? If two people are paying 1250 a month with a 6k deductible, then your provider is just flat out ripping you off and your kool aid must be spiked with stupidity! My wife and I pay $450 a month with a $1500 deductible, which has increased every year even though I haven't filed any claims. And that includes a pre existing clause that will go away next year. I am also a non greedy small business owner and see no issues other than increased paperwork.

    August 25, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Mark in CA
    You liberals are drinking koolaid if you think this Obamacare is right for the country.

    Says a rightwing koolaid drinker. Karl Rove was correct, Tea Party members aren't very savvy.

    August 25, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  15. Mark in CA

    Burt- small business is not hiring. And jobs that are coming are part time. Look at Delta airlines. $100,000,000 milion more in costs because of Democare. What do you think will happen? Either they will increase fares or more small fees or they will let people go. That is how a business is run. And who will pay for increased fares or job losses? The middle class. Wake up people.

    August 25, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. Mark in CA

    And btw- the government won't shut down. More scare tactics by the Democare people. Look at the sequester, all those scare tactics and what happened? We lost the Blue Angels and White House tours. Of course we kept the $100M Obama Africa vacation. Now that is good prioritization. Laughable.

    August 25, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  17. Mark in CA

    And Burt- you too can meet the POTUS with a $50,000 contribution to his little Super Pac. Talk about buying influence.

    August 25, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  18. Burt

    Hey Mark in CA...your comment about universal health care in Canada and the UK i s a perfect example of GOTP missinformation and scare tactics! Can you tell all the people here how many people die waiting for health care in those countries? The FACTS ARE...a handful at best! And the reason it makes the MSM is because it is so very rare! Now tell me the FACTS about how many people who have died in the US because they were denied coverage from their provider or couldn't afford it? FACT had become all so common that it wasn't even 'newsworthy' anymore.
    BTW Mark...I am a Canadian, and although the system isn't perfect and we DO SO complain about it...we average working people wouldn't trade it for anything! So please quit spouting your BS!

    August 25, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |

    Rapheal Cruz already made the Weeper of the House admit that there would be no government shutdown just because he wants to run for President.

    August 25, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  20. Anthony in California

    called your bluff Cruz. Now quit wasting tax payers money and either work on solutions to helping the country or quit. Your tea-party agenda is going to cost you and many of your ilk those precious seats come 2014.

    August 25, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. CA Independent

    More and more people every day are feeling the pain of this foolish law. Support has steadily decreased and for good reason. Costs are skyrocketing and more people are being denied coverage due to those costs. Full time jobs are being cut, leaving people to fend for themselves as part time employees. We knew this was coming, well, unless you drank the kool-aid that the Democrats have been handing out. Of course, they refuse to respond to the issues, leaving us holding the bill. yeah, not what I voted for.

    August 25, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. timverba

    And the real headline should be: Texan donors tell Cruz to shut up, his plan will hurt business

    August 25, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  23. Malory Archer

    Mark in CA
    You liberals are drinking koolaid if you think this Obamacare is right for the country. They have published the rates and programs here in CA. What a joke. My wife and I will have to pay $1250/mo and have a lousy ins policy with $6000/yr deductibles! $1250/mo!


    What were you doing about healthcare costs prior to the ACA? Sorry dude, it's time for you and your wife to do the right thing and start paying for your own medical coverage so those of us who are responsible enough to have been doing the right thing all along don't have to continue paying for you.

    August 25, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  24. annieL

    If Obamacare is SO bad, why not let it be fully funded and implemented and fail on its own merits? We needed a tax-supported single-payer system like most of the civilized world has but we couldn't that. Obamacare was the "best" we could get and it keeps private insurers and private providers (doctors, for-profit hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies) in control of premiums and prices, so what do we expect? High-cost healthcare, that's what we have and that's all we will ever get until enough middle Americans are smart enough and angry enough to demand single-payer.

    August 25, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
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