(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 let this barn yard fool , who does not know the truth if stepped and shook his hands, destroy the economy
Why are the republicans letting this idiot hold our government hostage in his attempt to overturn a validly adopted law that has nothing to do with the issues at hand??
Big sigh, I can't decide whether it is hubris, a detachment from the rest of the county's democratic choice, Texas ideology of destroying the Federal Government since the 1800's or he simply a tool in someone else's vision for this Country I really wish his 15 minutes were up.
This guy is an idiot
Cruz is an teaparty IDIOT!!!
"But I also think far too many people are worried about politics."
It would make the job easier if nobody was watching wouldn't it?
WOW. This guy really is nuts. How do people so backwards get so far in the political system.
GET RID OF THIS GUY! Obamacare isn't hurting the county as much as idiots like Cruz. The Affordable Healthcare Act has passed 50 votes and a Supreme Court Ruling. I really want Cruz to explain how it is hurting the country. Republicans have no chance of ever being elected as long as they hold the country hostage like this when they don't get their way. Cruz, you had your chance to come up with better healthcare solutions, but you FAILED. All you could say is "No" to Obama, but NEVER had any other solution, so you got what you deserved and now you're hurting millions of people with your arrogant tantrums.
Business when running short of cash raise prices. Does Cruz think that the Bush trickle down economics worked? I saw relatively few improvements. Where would we be if we had the money those tax cuts generated? Maybe we would have had money to pay for the wars. We certainly would not have as big of a debt problem. Do congressional leaders need a pension after serving one term – this could be a cost cutting measure, especially since most people in government get richer while serving in congress. Do they need their barber and gym? We the people have had to tighten our belts, congress should do the same.
Bob Schieffer compared Cruz' approach to demanding $20 for not throwing a brick through someone's front window. Following up with a question of a how government is supposed to work if this approach is allowed to work. These are questions that EVERY REPUBLICAN IN THE COUNTRY should be forced to answer – both for themselves and on the record for the public.
This guy is not mentally stable. I don't care what his educational background is.
We should use his arrest for treason as leverage.
"But I also think far too many people are worried about politics." ????
Senator Joseph McCarthy, and this guy are cut from the same cloth.
Both oblivious to the effect's and the ultimate damage done to the Country they professed to "serve"
McCarthy, you'll remember, was an active alcoholic.
What's going to be the reason for this guy's actions?
So, he plans to destroy the US and then run back to Canada.
I guess this guy is the reason the "founding fathers" made natural born citizen a requirement.
Ted Cruz is causing destroying our American way of life. The damage he is causing will be felt for a generation or beyond.
He doesn't think his actions have taken a negative toll on his party's image?!?!
Is he living in some fantasy land?!?
Obama is holding my taxes hostage.
Good Lord, Boehner, put a stop to this guy! The more he talks, the more I am convinced Cruz is some sort of operative for the Canadian government because no patriotic American would be so reckless and cavalier about his detrimental actions to the USA.
Cruz is a firebrand of the worst kind. People like him are not needed/ wanted in public office!
This guy is an Idiot. If we fail to raise the Limit on the 17th and we Default you can look forward to a severe Credit downgrade, a severe Market reaction with the accompanying the loss of a lot of money in 401Ks and job losses. That is just here. The World Markets are still crawling out of their Recession....an issue we caused when the Housing bubble burst and Banks were left with a ton of bad debt as a result that they were allowed to trade like baseball cards because of a lack of Regulation and Oversight.
Per Cruz: "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." Uh, Obamacare hasn't even begun to be already blamed for "not working." There are some good arguments for and against Obamacare, but to flipantly throw out that "it isn't working" tells me Cruz doesn't know what he's talking about and if he does know what he's talking about then he doesn't know how to fluently get his point across.
I have seen this movie..... The Godfather.... , Shut this moron down before he and his destroy this country.
Any claim by Republicans that the shutdown and potential default on the US debt is the fault of the Democrats ignores months of statements by many Republicans that echo this one from Cruz. This is all on the Republicans.
I was hoping the Republicans would do something really stupid and they are. Great job Ted.
It's always smart to follow the most extreme leader. Just look at Germany in the 30s and 40s. That worked out well didn't it?
Obamacare has been discussed (GOP took out public option,etc), passed both houses and the U.S. supreme court, Obama elected TWICE despite GOP yelling we will repeal it = now GOP just what should Obama be discussing? You have not even mentioned a thing in the bill except obamacare. Cruz look in the mirror and say now there is a fool looking at me.