(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 cannot possible say what I want to about Cruz because CNN would delete it. The guy is mentally retarded and does not care about America. Cruz donde están sus papeles de inmigración?
What a miserable whinny brat. Whether we like it or not, the ACA is legitimately enacted law. He should stop his tantrum already. Not liking the law? Well, better convince voters enough to repeal it via legislature. Didn't he take American Polisci 101 in high school? Give us a break.
Cruz, you're an idiot. I can hardly wait till elections as I will for the FIRST time ever not be voting Republican.
Obama Care didn't even start yet. Guess he has a really good insurance plan that will probably stay into effect even when he's no longer into politics. Probably has allot of money in his 401K . The Rich are in politics. He is hurting the people in our Country! Get rid of him!!!!!!!!!!
Cruz, I can hardly wait till elections as I will for the FIRST time ever not be voting Republican.
Sooo.... what does a Republican Victory look like? (looks left, looks right) I don't see anything....
His problem is he get's his information from Fox News so he has no clue just how much the country is against his crazy, blackmail and extortion schemes.
Mr. Cruz is out of touch with the American people, 72% disapprove of the shutdown and all he can think about is winning.
The man is so out of touch with majority of Americans as to be staggering.
I am not a fan of Cruz. There has been criticism of him saying he is just trying to promote himself to run for the presidency in 2016. Probably so, but to criticize this? Would he be the first one? New subj: Where is Biden these days, has he been silenced? have not heard a peep from him or about him for quite a while.
Use the debt ceiling as intended.
To stop runaway borrowing and spending.
Why do we have a debt ceiling if we just keep raising the limit?
This DA did not learn the first time...he need to go back to Cuba (where is father was born) and get his butt kick a few times. Or go to Delaware (where is mother was born and raised) and screw with that state. We are tired of his Tealiban ways!
Healthcare, Fast Trains, and Taxing the rich just scares the hell of out Republicans.
this idiot will see the impact in next presidential election when they loose.
I voted for Mitt Romney , I will never vote for these idiots any more.
Haven't heard much from the Canadian foreign terrorist since his self proclaimed Bataan March and now he wants to destroy our country even more? Now he's going against the eunuch weeper of the house again?
The fact that he thinks his little tirade and his teatards won't be blamed is so wrong. The teatards can win districts they gerrymandered to become politicians for life but you can't keep the country hostage forever.
Go back to Canada or Cuba since both countries have the health care insurance you are trying to keep US Americans from having.
Keep up the good work Mr. Cruz. Anything that can cause damage to the GOP should be continued!
A recent poll shows 58% of dems do not want a compromise. Hypocrisy.
Ted Cruz is a terrorist pure and simple, in our democratic republic you need to have the votes to remove a law, he does not have the votes so he has resorted to hostage taking and we are the hostages...
It continues to be absolutely astounding how this small faction believe their so called solutions are the only viable answers. I guess this is what voter apathy has wrought when we allow Cruz and his ilk to take control of the government. Am sick and tired of these Tea Party/Koch brothers backed conservatives trying to dismantle programs that have been beneficial to the average American and have provided to the overall economic productivity of this great Nation. It's time we take back our government from these narrow-minded, self-serving, bigoted idiots.
mitigate the harm from Obamacare? Um, what harm? Reign in the Executive is a way of saying force the will of the Tea Party down our throats. Cruz, do you have any real idea how the country feels about you? Your whole movement is up in La la land. Do you think the country hasn't noticed how you turned the Government into a bigger three ring circus then ever before? Wow, you talk about in denial.
Send this clown back to Canada.
cruz needs professional help. the man is delusional,
Ted Cruz is an embarrassment to the United States of America; he has held us up to scorn and ridicule around the world. His actions, and those of his fellows in the Senate have turned what is supposed to be a governing body into a bunch of schoolyard mean kids, stealing lunch money from the little children. Make no mistake, Senator Cruz, you are taking food away from the poor in your own state. I will repeat my offer to lend you men a ruler (centimeters) so you can once and for all determine who is-I mean, who has-the biggest d**k.
Cruz doesn't think his actions have taken a negative toll on his party's image. "Not remotely," Cruz said.
Oh, Ted, how wrong you are... I can't wait to cast my vote against you here in Texas at the next opportunity.
Send this cl*wn back to Canada.