(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."
I like Ted Cruz, and wish we had more like him in the Senate and House. Candy Crowley was just parroting the Democrats agenda.
Are we sure Canadians are our friends ? If so... why is that they sent this Canadian-born Cruz to us ? For destroying our country with his absurd ideas ? What a character ! Grouch Max couldn't possible compete with him in clowning.
Crus must have burned out from Princeton and Harvard Law.
He sounds like anything but a crackling intellect.
Senator Cruz, Instead of destroying the US economy and the financial well being of Americans, what are your suggestions?? Are you that much of a moron to not see or care what you are doing? I have yet to hear a suggestion or idea from you on how to make changes or adjustments to the debt or Affordable Health Care Act! Just rhetoric and generalizations that continue to further the TP from the GOP.
How much was this clown paid by the anti-ACA?He's made us the laughing stock around the world!The ignorant GOP led by spineless Boehner are undermining the image of this great country.They will stop at nothing until it's destroyed.Just out of their hatred for Obama.We are all just collaterals in their battle against the president.They've hidden under the guise of "social,fiscal conservatism" for so long but the mask is off now,they don't love this country,they're anti women,anti older people,anti every minority group and most of all anti Obama.The party of NO is now the EXTORTIONIST party.
Congress is not trying to reign in anybody. Tea Party radicals are advocating that. They do not control anything. They can only gather a plurality among the Republican caucus in the House. When they can win a national election, they can make all the radical changes they want. But they cannot do that. So they insist on getting changes they want by extortion. They threaten the economic recovery. They threaten downgrading the national debt. The hell with them. Call him what you want, the President is doing exactly what leadership should do. He is refusing to be extorted or to allow the majority of Americans to be extorted. He is about doing the very best thing he can.
Tea Party = Dixiecrats
Stand your ground Mr. President, we don't negotiate with terrorists, everybody knows that.
And this moron still has a job? Who elected him? Oh, wait, he's from Texas. That explains everything.
TED CRUZ is "NOT" from TEXAS !! He is a Canadian "RESIDING" in Texas!! and his agenda is a personal agenda against everything 'OBAMA", ObamaCare, Obama Govt, Obama policies, Obama period. His wife is not out of work, his family is not of out work. Shutting down the Government is his only agenda. The sooner Mr Green Eggs and Ham gets booted out of Texas, the better off we will be.
I hope he tries it. That will finally give the rest of the GOP the backbone to circle the wagons and stop trying to use this stuff as a bargaining chip.
Senator Cruz must realize his political career is effectively over!
Maybe we should see if Mexico is interested in purchasing Texas. That is before they try to secede.
You tea baggers think you know outrage and chaos? Go forward with your plan to default on our nations debt and it will be the last thing you morons ever do.
Mr Cruiz is not a Patriot. He Senate should censure or expel him.
Mr Cruz and John behnor (sp) should be charged with Treason.
Do not cave into these neanderthal thugs and extortionists, we will survive, but stand strong and don't give into their demands. Even if we have to struggle for while with some economic issues. You give them an inch now and 6 weeks later they will demand more and create another crisis.
Hey, the demands are getting bigger and bigger! Extortion life on CNN! How nice – it looks like the Government is going to stay shut down and default until January 2015 if Teddy has his way.
Ms. Crowley, how can you keep a straight face letting Ted serve up this nonsense? He got the studio doused with gasoline too and playing with matches under the table?
The current healthcare system is a sham. Cruz will always have good healthcare. I worked as a healthcare provider for 38 years as a operating room RN. People in the U.S. have gone bankrupt and lost their homes, possessions, and sometimes their families while healthcare execs award themselves billions in bonus's for just doing the jobs they were hired to do. As for Cruz he is a big mouth from Canada, what does he know about being an American surely not a benevolent Statesman. Just saying !
This is a perfect example of why the political-right created the astronomical federal deficit, and collapsed the US economy... for "leverage." Just beautiful.
No offense to Canadians, but can you please take this idiot back.
I was VERY disappointed in the way Candy Crowley interviewed both Lew and Cruz. She was almost rude to Lew and was very cordial to Cruz. Maybe she is afraid to stand up to him--just like Boehner and the rest of the GOP.
We're fully stocked here in the US.
Familiarity breeds contempt- and what we are seeing in the USA is contempt for freedom, liberty morality and stability. And that bum in the white house is the poster child of contempt.
Please someone send this moronic idiot back to Canada where he belongs, then they can deport him to Somalia since he wants everyone in America to live like we are a 3rd world country. Superjerk is all he is,figures a bunnch of Texans elected him to office