(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."
We need to say goodbye to people like Cruz... They want to cut the deficient but they are the ones increasing it by trying to undo what is law... They are spending way too much of our tax paying money and yet NO says anything about that. We are the people who vote these folks in but we should not stand by as they themselves keep wasting our money on BS...
Why worry about the Taliban? We have Cruz; possibly the most dangerous terrorist this country has ever faced. They don't have to do anything but sit back and watch
House/Senate; let's make it law – Starting in 2020 if you haven't served on Active Duty you can't run for the House, Senate or President. Also by 2024 ALL non-servciemen/women must resign their seat, and finally they most time you can hold political office in Wash DC is 8 years collectively.
I'm from Texas and I see a recall election in Ted Cruz's immediate future...
Wow.....I knew Cruz was a loose cannon but I didn't know he was that dumb. This man stated in the past that Republicans were worried that Obama Care might work and they needed to stop it now. It's time we stopped the GOP/Tea Party extremist before they bankrupt our economy and the worlds. What Cruz doesn't understand if they play chicken with the debt limit it could have hole world implications not just here at home. It's also time they learn to to take responsiblity for the mess they caused instead of blaming others for it.
Cruz is the perfect example of a self satisfied, self serving jerk.
He doesn't have to worry about health care. Not only does he get care as a Senator, his wife is a honcho at Goldman Sachs and has super duoer health care. The millions who will have health care when they didn't before would go back to not having coverage if this blackmailer succeeds.
Wait, he proposes " we should look for some significant structural plan and reduce government spending". He's just now getting around to thinking about that? Isn't that what he promised to do as his focus, along with the rest of the party? Or did they get too busy working on women's reproduction and gay marriage to work on that?
This dude REALLY needs to go take a cold shower and GTF over it................he is hurt his party and his country for just a few nut jobs............OMG !!!!!! He is NOT going to get the Dems to cave.........
The house needs to censure Cruz, Hill, Rubio and Meadows and if they fail to yield then expel them which would prevent them from voting and then hold a special vote to pass the debt ceiling and put the government back in business.
Why do we even have elections if it doesn't matter who we vote for....crazy people like this idiot gets to run the country in the ground!!
Keep talking Ted, you're doing more for the Democratic party than we could ever dream of.
If Senator Cruz is so worry about government spending how about the complete and enormous cost of this shut down mess he has created.....He is a very, very, dangerous person for the United States and I wish he would stop talking about the American people he does not represent me and countless majority of this country,maybe he is representing the health insurance companies lobbyists and wish he would take his self grandiose plans somewhere else besides ruining the fabric of our government
Idiots for Cruz 2016. How do they sleep at night??
People. People you have been drinking the kool-aid way too long. We have DEMOCRAT president. A DEMOCRAT senate a media that is a mouthpiece for the DEMOCTRATS. Cruz is just trying to rein in the damage. Anyone who can't see this after 5 years of DEMOCRAT ideas is congenitally stupid or living in an alternate universe. Look at Chicago (democrat ) look at Detroit (democrat) . that is where the WHOLE nation is heading without people like Cruz.
Shut er down and default. Let the teahaddists have their way.
You have to love how morons blame the republican party – The dems have us 17,000,000,000,000 in debt – and they want more – I suggest that the people that believe any dem – MSNBC – CNN – or any other liberal media – Find out facts on your own – if you can – When Harry Reid was asked why he didn't pass a bill the repubs made to for funding for kids with cancer – Reid said "Why should I" – That is a typical dem – What is wrong with you liberals
Atta boy Ted, just keep on stirring the pot and eventually all that nasty stuff will rise to the top.
Every once in a while I read CNN because a story appears to unbias. And then I read the comments from the idiots who actually live on this cite and it affirms that indeed, ANYONE, who reads and relies on CNN for news is as dumb as a box of rocks! The Tea Party does not need the GOP. The Tea Party is the new moral majority. Obama supporters and left wing wack job liberals are now the terrorists and it is clear they intend to terrorize the American economy. Good luck in your poverty when your Gub'ment check is worthless!!
Go! Ted!, You can destroy U.S.A and become the next President of u.s.a
What we have now is just an allusion of democracy. when 65-75% of former congressmen become lobbyists, "WE THE PEOPLE" is replaced by we the corporation.
Haven't we deported this Canadian yet?
Glad we could help y'all out. From Canada with love.
Ted Cruz and the rest of the Tea Party frauds need to be "reined in". In fact, these traitors need to be prosecuted for treason...
He's worse than Michelle!