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. Richp14

    Cruz = PeeWee Herman goes to Washington

    October 6, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  2. James P. Barber

    When Bush took over from Clinton he had a surplus. Now we're still trying overcome the deficit he dug us into. The Koch brothers have planned this shut down since Obama won re election. Cruz needs to back to Canada. The tea Koch party is going to destroy America so they can save it. Their proven failed ideology has yet to work and that won't change in the future. Their shut down is far more than a mere inconvenience. This save the fetus, starve the child mentality is immoral.

    October 6, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  3. Fedup

    I am tired of being held hostage by any party, the last 12 years have been the worst for bullying in Washington. They are not great role models for our children because they are showing that you can bully someone in to do something by black mailing them. I am sick of all them, they don't care about the american people, only the people that have contributed to them by buying votes. Pathetic. What everyone in America needs to do is get your head out of the clouds, people that are in, vote them ALL out, so that when we have a new president we also have a whole new congress. PS I'm indepentdent and would never claassify myself again with any party.

    October 6, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. TKO

    Apparently a lot of folks responding here still do not know what the debt ceiling is: it is very like the spending limit on your credit card. You can call and have your limit increased (and if your credit is good, this usually poses little problem), but calling AmEx and saying, "look, you can raise my credit card limit only if I refuse to pay my last bill" will get you committed. THIS MAKES NO SENSE!

    October 6, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. Michael

    Mary, Canada DID NOT kick Ted Cruz out...He kicked himself out..he denounced his Canadian citizenship...because he wants to run for President...Canada has absolutely nothing to do with this..Also Canada has Single-Payer healthcare for ALL of their citzens...Canada doesn't need an idiot like Ted Cruz...I am sure they are very happy that he is no longer a citzen of their country.

    October 6, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. GonzoinHouston

    Ted Cruz isn't a leader of the TP; he's just a mouthpiece. The real leaders are the people behind the scenes who are writing the million-dollar checks.

    October 6, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. Sharon

    Um...Cruz....Canada....Republican..latino who hurts avg. American! Bye bye immigration bill. Hello term limits..hello no pay or benefits during shutdown.

    October 6, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. Eric Matthews

    Our nation already has 19 commissioned aircraft carriers and other 5 under construction, but when there are Americans need affordable heath care insurance we must reel in liberal spending? Don't let the Republicans get away this, they talk, and talk about government spending, but NEVER, EVER want to let the American people have a say in priorities. Republicans want America to be exactly like North Korea.

    October 6, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. John

    September 30 Gallup.....2 out of 3 uninsured will purchase insurance for 2014, rather than pay the fine, and 25% will pay the fine, 8% undecided.............this is great news for the ACA.....why? because the number signing on exceeds estimates, and will result in even lower exchange rates, to have more of the young insured......The fine for not insuring is reasonable, starts at $95/year, and caps out of 1% of income, so despite the fine being relatively low, they will still opt to buy insurance rather than pay fine.......looks like maybe 30 million of the 49 miillion...better than expected.

    October 6, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. Esther

    Let the"Birthers" come forward to Cruz with the same arguments and rational they did to Obama.

    October 6, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  11. tygre

    There was a reason why the US was the most successful country in the world in the last couple centuries. A combination of economics, law, politics, culture... People like Cruz have found a loophole to destroy it. Just like the Chinese emperor who got a goofy idea in his head to burn his great ships and ruin Chin'a chances to be a world leader centuries ago, Cruz will burn democracy through extortion. We barely escaped the last loophole to our success, the derivative meltdown. Now comes the political meltdown.

    October 6, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  12. Jim Bob

    We have yet to see whether or not the United States starts talking about more responsible spending. The GOPs, while not being model citizens, are on the right track. If it were up to the President and the Democrats, we would continue spending more and taxing more forever. That is simply not a viable plan for the future. Unless we increase taxes by double, we really aren't going to get anywhere. Also, fewer large government programs and renovation of existing ones is critical to solving the Nation's economic challenges in the longer term.

    October 6, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. Liz the First

    This man should be arrested for treason! he is threatening to destroy this country and we're letting him get away with it. he should be treated like any other terrorist.

    October 6, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  14. Sugarmama

    This interview was like listening to the rantings of this psycho senator! I mean really! I can not believe that this simple, goofing looking freshman senator has been allowed to cause all this trouble. He should not even be taken seriouly, he doesn't deserve the attention that he is getting, that is his only agenda-being in the spot light.

    October 6, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  15. matey

    Thank you Republican House Leader and The Tea Party for shutting down The USA. This is another result of your actions. There is a delay to cross the border from Mexico to The USA You really are doing a good job extreme right wing Republicans in The House of Representatives. The problem could be solved if Customs could hire more employees and not remove others from working. Six traffic lanes were closed . My bus had to wait 3-4 hours to cross the border Northbound into the USA.

    This could have been avoided if The House Leader would have an "up and down" vote in The House of Representatives. This slowdown at The border negatively affects businesses, Mexican, and USA citizens crossing the border.

    October 6, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  16. Deb

    Only a true idiot would play politics with the honor of the United States of America. But then Cruz wasn't born here. Thank God he can never be president..

    October 6, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. Bob

    Come on Republicans time to throw Boehner out as speaker.

    October 6, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. southernsuga

    I heard the interview this morning. I think the entire debt and government problem completely go over his head. His thinking can't get out of the political party mode. It's pitiful.

    October 6, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  19. anonymous 2

    This is a sad state of affairs right now. He is the ultimate spin doctor; he must howl in private at how he is swindling the Republican party and all America with his illogic. Shame on anyone who buys into it.....

    October 6, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  20. T E X A S

    Dear Mr. Cruz,

    This is not how the legislative process is supposed to work. Go back and read your high school government book.

    October 6, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  21. TheTraveler

    "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."

    Hmm, the AHCA has just started to be implemented. So how can anyone say it's not working? The attacks are more "manufactured" than anything. Using the Debt ceiling as "leverage" is tantamount to domestic economic terrorism in my book.

    Someone should tell Mr. Cruz that we don't negotiate with terrorists, domestic or otherwise.

    October 6, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  22. Founding_Fetus

    His last comment sums him up perfectly: "But I also think far too many people are worried about politics." Of course he thinks this. People like him want the public in disarray and divided on every issue people it allows them to make money off voters while not having to do any actual work in Congress. He's the type of politician ALL Americans should want out of government; one that smiles at you, tells you every lie imaginable to scare you and then turns around to say, "Stop worrying about politics American citizen. Trust me and leave it to us." How any conservative or American of any ideological thought could support Ted Cruz is pretty shameful. It also shows how desperate conservatives are to humiliate Obama. I think Obamacare is a mistake and welcome it's repeal. But not by shutting down the government or defaulting on the nation's debt.

    My real question is Will the birthers and Mr. Trump protest and scream on television and conservative radio stations when Mr. Cruz (a Canadian), runs for the presidency in 2016? If they fail to do so, they will have lost all further credibility to me (a Rockefeller-Republican) and will prove that they targeted Obama strictly because of his name and skin color.

    October 6, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  23. logic rules

    What an ideological buffoon.

    October 6, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  24. Bob

    Somebody send seal team 6 after this terrorist.

    October 6, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  25. Sugarmama

    Crowley did a pretty good job with interviewing this idiot. He is a complete idiot and he really did go to Harvard? Really.

    October 6, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
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