October 6th, 2013
11:16 AM ET
9 years 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. sayer

    And people call Obama a dictator. Wait until the Tea Party is in power...

    October 6, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  2. mark hensley

    Only idiots would say something doesn't work, that hasn't even started.

    But then, we are talking about republicans, aren't we.
    Common sense isn't in their nature

    October 6, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. Dennis

    How can you trust a guy with a crooked smile like that? Just look at him crying out loud!!! His body language and facial expressions tell it ALL. He's ready to stab America in the back for his own political gain, and he's quite smug about that too.

    October 6, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. Crystal

    It would make more sense to cut spending and raise taxes.

    October 6, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  5. Cruz to the bottom

    Cruz should be tried for treason!

    October 6, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  6. Julian

    Cruz just moved the goal posts again. Boener talking on radio also stated that it's not just ACA, but debts, Medicare, etc that hey want.
    You cannot negotiate with people who are not negotiating in good faith, especially when they don't care about the country.
    What have the Tea Party/Repubs done so far – paying government workers for not working while the work is not done – if they try to claim they want to reduce spending then this proves their lies.

    October 6, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  7. Tom Blier

    What does this guy know about history? I heard he still thinks the south won the civil war and sports a confederate flag in his DC office.

    October 6, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  8. J Zimdars

    I watched a portion of this interview this morning. Ted Cruz left out some important UPS benefit information to point he is a LIAR! My spouse works for UPS. UPS didn't just dump those spouses and family members health insurance benefits. What UPS did, was those spouses who have health insurance with their employer would not be offered health insurance through UPS. I have insurance through my employer and I've never taken benefits through my spouse. In addition, what UPS did was...Those spouses/partners who aren't employed or are employed but do not have insurance through their employer can stay on the UPS employee benefits plan. So message to CRUZ, you IDIOT, if you're going to tell a story about something that is suppose to be fact, state the whole story, not just enough to get people riled. You're a disgrace to the Republican Party and a disgrace to the House of Representatives. You should be fired immediately.

    October 6, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  9. darth's daughter

    Senator Cruz is correct and I agree with him totally. The debt is far too dangerously high to fund obamacare.

    October 6, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  10. GT58

    If he is so concerned about the budget and socialism, then he should lead to revoke social security too. Funny when those that complain the loudest about socialism don't want to give up their social security.

    October 6, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  11. Brian G from Canada

    OMG. I was having a nice Sunday coffee expecting that the debt ceiling (a real ticking time bomb) won't be used by the GOP to hold Obama (and the World hostage). I am a businessman, and was expecting to make some investment decisions in the next month.

    Just when I thought the GOP would not sink to lower. lows, I just have to wait for someone else from the fringe with power to speak. I suggest we strip Ted Cruz of his Canadian citizenship. Unbelievable

    October 6, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. Driverdale

    The for profit health care put themselves in this mess. Promising better coverage to gain more enrollees. The insurance executives took their profits and ran when their goldmine started to cash in on what they've been paying for. We have been at the mercy of what in escence for indivudual policy holders is a single year term insurance policy

    October 6, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. true north

    From a Canadian perspective, this Cruz character is very scary not only for the US but for the world. I can't believe that CNN didn't challenge him on any of his talking points, although anyone with half a brain could easily discern the craziness of what he was saying and perhaps she was intentionally illustrating that. How is ACA bad for the American people and please compare it with pre ACA US medical system. If more people have access to affordable care doesn't that make for a healthier society?

    October 6, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. ItSoNlYmE

    Ted Cruz is so far out of his depth in the US Senate he can't even see the surface. He's a spoiled child whose sole aim is to see his face on TV in the misguided and vain hope that he'll be elected president someday. He makes George Bush look like a good pick by comparison. Where does Texas get these loonies from anyway? Do they have a captive breeding program for them?

    October 6, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  15. Zon

    Oh yes, wing nuts. Keep listening to this lunatic.

    October 6, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. Ed Benson

    Yes, Cruz 'leaped and hopped and played tricksy' in answering Crowley's questions about the plan going forward.

    Cruz was OUTDONE by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew who leaped even farther when asked to define the default point:

    Crowley Q: If the US pays the debt on its bonds and obligations, is it in default Lew A: (paraphrased) We should look at the bigger picture of not paying Social Security.

    Scientists, please perfect a truth serum.

    October 6, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. us_1776

    There is NOTHING to negotiate you TEA terrorists.

    You lost the last election, You lost on the Healthcare Act which by the way was UPHELD by the US Supreme Court.

    Now stop all this childish nonsense and start conducting the business of the PEOPLE instead of your corporate cronies.


    October 6, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  18. patw2100

    God Bless Senator Cruz as he works to save America from Obama.

    October 6, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. Kevin H

    Personally I wondered what caused Sen. Cruz to put on his aluminum foil hat. Where did this experience come from? Was he a great political philosopher? Perhaps he'd been an ultra-successful businessman. Perhaps he grew up at the knee of a wealthy man. I know he's a self-made man. That's why he's so into his Auntie Everything government. He was a valedictorian at Second Baptisat High School in 1988. He learned free-market economic thinking from pro-right wing men like Milton Freedman. He was a fa of Bastiat, von Mises and the like. In other words "off the charts conservatives". But where had all this come from. Surely his father was a wealthy Cliosophic (yes he is a "Whig" in the classic sense.") He won the North AMerican Debate Championship and World Universities Debating Championship. Professor Alan Dershowiz said that his Juris Doctorate garned him Law Review honors and he declared him "Brilliant". He clerked for William Rehnquist. He served as counsel for non other than John Boehner in a legal case. Oh he's worked in private practice – one firm (Morgan Lewis) has been part of the energy industry since 1882. But surely Cruz is anti-government. Oh he may well be. He worked for Bush-Cheney – he is a Federal Trade Commission policy planner, he was Solicitor General in Texas. Surely his father Rafael Bienvenido Cruz is an influential man. No indeed. He's a pastor. Nothing strange there. Except how is it that this man came to the fore? He doesn't pretend (like Romney) to be self-made. He is anti-government and pro-business. But yet...he worked for government for at least 1/3 of his career – trying to destroy it from within by brining lawsuits to bear against government for "the people". Recall that he's a fan of Friedman and Friedman created what Pinochet called "the Miracle of Chile" – in other words years and years of elite families running Chile with leftist socialists and even middle-of-the-road liberals disappearing in great numbers. People this man is rising fast and he wants to run for President. He was born in Canada. His claims to "natural born" citizenship hinge on some shaky but well established case law. Again let me repeat – he is no businessman – and he's anti-government. He's worked for large energy concerns. Do the hackles of your neck stick up? Mine do.

    October 6, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. blennertr

    He does realize that Congress has already racked up 17 trillion in debt. The president does not have power of the purse. These are debts that are on Congress

    October 6, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. LilySue

    After spending nearly 3 wks worrying about whether I would receive my federal annnuity this month, now I have to worry about my Social Security being in jeopardy because of this idiot Cruz! I like a previous post suggesting that the Tea Party re-form outside the guise of the GOP and see how they fare on their own. They are a bunch of wing-nuts who do nothing but incite worry and frustration among our citizens. There is an established process for repealing/ammending a LAW – the ACA is LAW, just in case Mr Cruz and his ilk haven't been paying attention – and they should use that process if they want to propose such ammendment to the ACA LAW!! I'm sick of all of this, I'm sick of worrying about the status of retirement income that I have earned over the space of 40 YEARS of government service (including military active duty) and I am SICK OF SENATOR CRUZ!!!

    October 6, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  22. cosmo

    America use to be a great Country

    October 6, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. Jason

    Mr Cruz, as an independent voter I can assure you that stunts like the one you have just pulled, have further alienated me from the Republican party as a whole. I'm sure this doesn't matter to your tea party fan base and in your own district you have little concerns about being re-elected, but in more moderate states like Colorado, this will only tip things further away from Republican candidates in the next election.

    October 6, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  24. Amin Jiwani

    This guy is more harmful to our country than George Bush, Dick Chenney and Osama bin laden combined.
    God Bless America!,

    October 6, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. Willa45

    Leverage? Why not call it what it is.....a ransom.

    Mr. Cruz, you are getting paid by ALL the taxpayers in this country to do a very important job. Your core job description requires you to vote on the bills that are set before you for your consideration. Then, you are allowed to submit one vote, yours... nobody else's.

    Mr. Cruz, you don't get to sway other lawmakers by threatening them. You don't get to change laws by inciting sedition within your own Party. You don't get to obstruct the Legislative process so you can nix only those Laws or proposals you don't like. .....In this country, that's called blackmail!

    October 6, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
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