(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."
This is a dream come true for Tea Party true believers, but all the polls say a significant majority of Americans are opposed to what they're doing. In fact, only 23% in one poll said they want elected officials to try to make the law fail. Poll after poll says the public (outside of the Tea Party) does not approve of what these extremists are doing. This is going to come back to haunt them in 2014.
Crudz is ALL worked up frothing over the prospect of destroying the US economy. He needs to simmer down and put some ice on that boehner.
If you need a reason not vote for a Republican on any level, then you have to look no further - it's never been more obvious, the Republicans are destroying America.
The Republicans are being blamed because they ARE to blame. Didn't they run Mitt Romney with his main issue the economy? Now they purposely want to disrupt the economy and send us back into recession. All because they don't want Obama to succeed. Let's vote the "party of no" OUT of the House in 2014.
Speaking purely about logistics here........What's to prevent – under Citizens' United – a foreign entity from paying off a few in our House to shut down our government to produce economic and national security instability? Answer: Absolutely nothing, it's all legal.
most of the people commenting here seem to be semi-illiterate and hate filled. relax folks...and try to post coherent thoughts.
Behold the CRUZOLE speaks.......Obamacare hurting millions...cruzole logic
CRUZOLEs lost...in Congress, in the Elections , in the Supreme court
The death of the CRUZOLES is soon approaching in te next elections
The Man is INSANE! but so is most of the Tea Party ,they have no clue about the economic damage that will come if the debt limit is not raised. For the anti Obama nut jobs that accuse him of massive spending, show me a list of the unfunded spending programs he enacted?
This man is so full of himself that he is dillusional.
I hope Cruz wasn't hoping on being a politician for very much longer. He keeps shooting himself in the foot.