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. And Then

    Texas should really be embarrassed for electing this person into office. Republicans didn't need much to look so bad but he has really shined the light. To be so careless is so sad.

    October 7, 2013 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  2. GIUK

    This proves that the Republicans and the Tea Party are willing to drive this nation to default. If they were no intent on that end there would be no credibility to their treat and thus no leverage. The Tea Party and Republicans are the enemies of this nation.

    October 7, 2013 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  3. postedbygeorge

    Cruz and TP are politically mimicking the destructive actions of the T-aliban fanatics.

    October 7, 2013 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  4. Craig


    It's an interesting question. To be a citizen you need to have been born to at least one parent who WAS a citizen at that time, OR born inside the boundaries of the US itself. John McCain was born in the Canal Zone in Panama, but it was considered US territory (kind of a special case) and his parents were both citizens. President Obama was born in Hawaii, clearly a part of the United States, although only one parent was a citizen. That doesn't matter.

    Now, the Constitution says that to be President you must a "natural born citizen" who is at least 35 years old, and have resided in the country for at least 14 years.

    The big issue, assuming there is one, is that there is no legal definition for "natural born citizen." The Supreme Court has never addressed the question, and it isn't a term that's in common usage in other legal systems. So...it's a complete unknown. It could mean anything...or nothing. Depends upon the court, and who knows what they might decide.

    October 7, 2013 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  5. john

    why is it that those that do the most harm to the USA come mostly from one party? There seems to be a pattern here that is hard to ignore. This same party goes through idiology changes, and when it does it gets worse and more extreme. We need to really change our whole system to remove the extremism we now see happening, if we want to continue being the USA. If we don't do something soon we won't have a USA that embraces the finer things in human nature. We will be the same as those we're fighting against now.

    October 7, 2013 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  6. TA

    You ignorant people that have no idea the extent to the reach into your private lives, The Civil Rights violations created by the ACA, or how it will effect you are willingly & blindly following the status quo of party lines. This type if ignorance has to stop if you want the political corruption to stop. We will know you by your actions. If it violatates any of the rights you should be screamming not being sheeple.

    October 7, 2013 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  7. Roger

    To the posters who want to know why we're need to increase the dept ceiling.
    Because since 911 everything costs more. Protection from terriorism, and insurance to name just a couple. And, our greedy capitalists felt inclined to send our jobs over-seas to increase profits, all the while putting their profits into foreign banks to save on taxes. All those displaced workers sure aren't paying what they used to into the tax system now are they ? So, what do we do ? Dump our morality, and it's every person for themselves ? No, we continue to throw them a life- line, (foodstamp, and what-ever they need to survive.) WHY ? Because that who we are as Americans. At least that's what I hope we all are.

    October 7, 2013 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  8. Satan

    What does the executive have to do with this? This is entirely about Congress being stupid. They are sending 2 signals to the executive: 1. They made a bunch of laws requiring the executive to pay more money that it takes in, and 2. It sets a limit on how much it can borrow to pay for the laws it made. 3 words: stupid, stupid, stupid. Can Congress add and subtract? Either stop spending more money than the government makes or let the government borrow money!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 7, 2013 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  9. Anonymous

    Hopefully this will be the last gasp of a dying party funded by billionaires and populated by retards.

    October 7, 2013 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  10. james

    tea party you all make me sick holding the country in shutdown

    October 7, 2013 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  11. ep tor

    Cruz makes me embarrassed to be Canadian. Canadians are begging you, please don't deport that nitwit back up to Canada.

    October 7, 2013 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  12. J.V.Hodgson

    How can people vote for someone who does not listen to the majority of people.
    It is not the duty of a Senator or Republican house representative to vote party line it is their duty to vote in the best interests of the nation as whole on any issue.
    Fed up of poll questions designed to emphasize the divide in politics and not polls that realistically assess what we the people support without bias in the questions simply asking questions to determine what the majority want never mind if its a republican position or democratic view.
    Ask the compromise question and get a view.

    October 7, 2013 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  13. Paul

    Crazy idea, maybe... but here's what I think could well be a simple, intuitive solution to limit the damage & break this unnecessary & unjustified deadlock Washington has created.

    The Republicans & Democrats / President agree on the following 3-point plan to break the impasse on Monday morning:

    1. Re-open the government immediately with the legal or legislative steps that this would require & the budget necessary to prevent recurrence until well after the 2014 midterm elections.

    2. Raise the debt ceiling immediately with the legal or legislative steps that this would require & the level necessary to make this a non-issue until well after the 2014 midterm elections.

    3. Convene a joint conference or separate joint committees that are tasked solely with finding a sensible & mutually acceptable framework within a reasonable time frame to agree on a budget PLUS fix some of the perceived or independently-verified shortcomings of ObamaCare, etc., but without either party declaring pre-conditions or red lines... again, these matters just cannot be negotiated in the spirit of hostility, political wrangling, or be allowed to become midterm election issues, or else everyone loses.

    Is this not what the framers of the constitution intended & what the American people & voters of today should expect of their federal government ?

    Otherwise, can someone please tell me why this would not create a Win-Win-Win outcome for R-D-WtP (We the People) ?

    October 7, 2013 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  14. Bill Davis

    So the Canadian- Cuban wants to destroy the American economy. Maybe he was trained by Castro.

    October 7, 2013 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  15. davete2013

    Ted Cruz attacks other republicans calling them RINOs to keep them in line with his extremist views. The truth is he himself is the RINO. He doesn't know how our government works or he doesn't care how it works so as long as it helps him achieve his own personal ambitions at the expense of destroying the GOP establishment. He's not a Republican he's an anarchist who hell bent on destroying our democratic institution with his extortion strategy. But like a snake in grass he tries to make it seem like it's Obama who is not being reasonable. And so many people are brainwashed to believe him.

    October 7, 2013 03:14 am at 3:14 am |
  16. BeverlyNC

    I think it is time to use Cruz as "leverage". As soon as he resigns and stops his rants hurting the nation we can take Republicans seriously.Get rid of the Tea Party unAmerican haters and maybe our government can finally work for the PEOPLE as intended in our Constitution. The Tea Party has no clue what the difference between the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence are. They have no clue about the history of our nation. It's sickening to such uneducated people try to take over an control our government to the detriment of the PEOPLE our nation was founded for and by. The Tea Party represents no one but their views of nonsense, bigotry ,hate and lies. Why are sane Republicans allowing these extremists kill their Party?

    October 7, 2013 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  17. Cadillacjoe

    Purposely causing the government to default on its obligations violates the "without mental reservation or purpose of evasion" clause of his oath of office. He should be immediately censured, and subsequently expelled from the Senate

    October 7, 2013 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  18. FM

    Ted Cruz is an embarrassment to the entire country. If you haven't picked up on that, you aren't paying attention to anything outside of your tiny little circle.

    October 7, 2013 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  19. DENNIS


    Matthew 12:25 KJV
    And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation ; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand :
    Mark 3:24 KJV
    And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand .

    Mark 3:25 KJV
    And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand .

    Luke 11:17 KJV
    But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation ; and a house divided against a house falleth .

    The Good News
    Daniel 2:44 KJV
    And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed : and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.


    October 7, 2013 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  20. REAL

    Only 36% of Americans disapprove of The Health Care Act. 2nd how can Cruz same that the health care law doesnt work and they just rolled it out Oct. 1st. Cruz is an idiot and anyone who believes the bull coming out of his mouth needs to go do the research forthemselves. FActs dont lie and he is going by the facts.

    October 7, 2013 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  21. REAL

    and Cruz is not going by the facts

    October 7, 2013 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  22. AMANDA

    This guy is dangerous. He's totally blind to poltical reality and living in his fantasy world.

    Fortunately, he can NEVER be president. The Constitutional requirements for the post disqualify the turkey.

    October 7, 2013 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  23. Maria

    This guy is a disgrace!

    October 7, 2013 03:37 am at 3:37 am |
  24. lOST

    Pride goeth before the fall.

    October 7, 2013 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  25. Margaret

    Speaking of levers, how about levering him out of congress and sending him home wherever it is. Maybe we could talk Canada into to taking him back, we could throw in Boehner for good measure.

    October 7, 2013 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
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