Ted Cruz: Obama's Impeachment for Healthcare Debacle 'Question for House'

Monday, 18 Nov 2013 02:57 PM

By Todd Beamon and Steve Malzberg

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The beleaguered Obamacare program is the best example of the huge rift between entrenched Washington politicians and the American people, Sen. Ted Cruz tells Newsmax.

The biggest rift in the country is not between Democrats and Republicans, he says, but between Washington and the rest of the country.

"There are a lot of politicians in Washington who just aren't listening to the American people — and people are frustrated," the Texas Republican said in an exclusive interview at the annual Restoration Weekend conference in Palm Beach, Fla.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

"You take something like Obamacare," he began. "Millions of Americans have been speaking up, saying: 'This is a train wreck. This is a disaster. This is killing jobs. This is forcing people into part-time work.' We've been seeing in the last few weeks that this is taking away the healthcare of millions of Americans

"Yet, Washington hasn't been listening to them. That's the frustration people feel all across this country. That's something I hope will change."

Story continues below video.



Cruz, 42, a first-term senator backed by the tea party, has been mentioned as a Republican presidential candidate in 2016. He has long opposed Obamacare. In September, he spoke for more than 21 hours on the Senate floor against President Barack Obama's signature domestic policy achievement.

The program has been plagued with problems since the rollout of its individual mandate on Oct. 1. The main Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov, has been riddled with technological and accessibility problems — and millions of Americans have since been dropped by insurance companies because their plans do not meet the law's requirements.

The House voted 261-157 on Friday to allow insurance companies to sell those health policies for another year.  Thirty-nine Democrats, including several who face tough challenges in next year's congressional elections, voted for the bill, sponsored by GOP Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan.

The Senate is working on its own version of the Upton plan. For his part, President Obama has pledged to grant a one-year reprieve to Americans whose health policies have been canceled.

"As John Adams said, facts are stubborn things," Cruz told Newsmax, reflecting on the House vote. "And the facts are Obamacare isn't working. At this point, it is the essence of pragmatism to want to repeal Obamacare, because three-and-a-half years ago, some people might have believed that maybe Obamacare would work. Today, nobody believes that.

"It's the classic illustration of liberalism and big government run amok, where people in Washington think they know better than you do about the healthcare you need and about the healthcare your family needs," he added. "What has happened to the Democratic partisanship is that it has confronted the realty of the millions of Americans who are paying the price, who are facing real harms because of Obamacare."

It did not help that the party's most-popular figure, former President Bill Clinton, admonished Obama to change the law to let Americans who are happy with their health plans keep them.

"That speaks volumes — that this thing isn't working, that nobody is defending it," Cruz said. "That really was a signal to an awful lot of Democrats, that the wheels are falling off of this thing.

"We're starting to see a lot more Democrats finally being willing to break from Obamacare, to stop the partisan obstruction they've been engaged in and to start, I hope, beginning to listen to the American people."

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

Cruz also praised videographer James O'Keefe, who last week released recordings from an undercover investigation showing Obamacare "navigators" advising Americans to lie, ignore procedures, and evade legal requirements when signing up for healthcare.

Other investigations by O'Keefe targeted ACORN, a community organizing group for which President Obama worked when he was a lawyer, and NPR's Ron Schiller, who was exposed courting a pro-Muslim group by disparaging Christians, Jews, Republicans, and the tea party.

"The great thing about what James does is that he just runs a camera and lets people explain what they're doing," Cruz told Newsmax. "The navigators are all about using taxpayer money to fund partisan operatives, and that's fundamentally corrupt.

"It's wrong. It's misusing the machinery of government, and what James has done is simply put on film that these folks understand their partisan operatives. They're not engaged in anything other than trying to mobilize people, to keep Democrats in power to maintain their control over our lives."

The best way to improve Obamacare is to "repeal it outright and let's start over," Cruz said.

"The Democrats are scrambling. They're fleeing a sinking ship. What they're desperately looking for is right now is not a way to fix the problem; they're just looking for a political Band-Aid.

"They're looking for something to cover their political rear ends — but, frankly, they don't make a big enough Band-Aid to do that.

"This thing is fundamentally broken," the senator told Newsmax. "Tinkering around the edges, sticking a Band-Aid on it, is not going to fix the problem."

Cruz said the introduction of Obamacare is another example of how President Obama defies the U.S. Constitution when enforcing the law, Cruz said.

"It's one of the most troubling aspects of the Obama administration: Aside from their radical policy, the way they've implemented it has, sadly, been lawless. Over and over again, this president has said, 'I don't care what the law is; I'm going to refuse to enforce it.'"

While he believes these executive actions are unconstitutional, Cruz stopped short of calling for Obama's impeachment.

"That's a question for the House, ultimately. The House, under the Constitution, makes the decision whether to impeach, and then the Senate is charged with trying it.

"Any impeachment would have to be tried in the United States Senate — and my responsibility would be to render judgment," Cruz added. "I would not urge the House to do anything other than exercise its best judgment, and I would endeavor to the same on my end."

The senator was just as indirect on his aspirations for a White House run in 2016.

"The instincts are to focus on politics, focus on the next elections. I'm trying very hard to keep my focus on the substance," Cruz told Newsmax. "The challenges facing our country are enormous.

"The Senate is the battlefield right now, and my focus is on the U.S. Senate.

"I believe we can and should" retake the Senate in next year's elections, Cruz added. "The terrain is very, very favorable to it.

"If Republicans stand strong, present a clear alternative — stand for free-market principles and the Constitution, stand strong against Obamacare — we'll take the Senate by a significant margin," he predicted. "If we roll over, if we don't stand for anything, that's the easiest way not to take the Senate."

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