(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."
The rebublicans had a form on RNC.gov last week where you could comment on the shutdown. Apparently they didn't get enough positive comments as it is now gone. In other words, they know what they are doing is wrong and it is hurting Americans but they don't care. This is today's Republican Party. They are going to the mat for the teabaggers and couldn't care less about what consequences everyone else suffers.
Vote them out next chance you get.
What is Ted Cruz issue with the President? This is crazy
Mr Cruz forgets the state of America when Obama became president. It was in disarray from the redumblicans abuse. Almost a second collapse!!!!!!!!!!!! This clown Cruz can go back to TX and or better yet Canada!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The POTUS does not have to negotiate the house passes a bill the Senate votes on it the it goes to POTUS. There is just excuses
Has anyone checked to see if Cruz has a brain? What an idiot.
This is why Republicans should not always vote for the least intelligent person they can find.
The Tea Party projects a sense that they want to bring down the Federal Gov't - both in rhetoric and action– but that is only the ostensible reason. The reason for their being– me thinks - is to bring down THIS federal Gov't - so that a new Gov't might take charge and eliminate the "burden" of taxes on the wealthy - rewarding the well to do for their years of "hard work" - abandoning the weak and meek who are undeserving of our help. Their ideology is informed by a perverted sort of EUGENICS - a scientific feeling that the rich are a superior race, and all others ought to die off.
Let's ask any of these Republicans, do they think the declining middle class of the last 30 years has anything to do with adding to the deficit in order to maintain the facade on our standard of living? "Yes" or "No."
GOP's playing with debt ceiling will devastate the world.
"So the president's demand to jack up the nation's credit card with no limits, no constraints – it's not reasonable." as stated by Cruz....he seems to forget that the budget is given to the President after they usually have added their own pork.
Cruz said that letting Obamacare go further into effect "would destroy the private health care system." .....any want to try and guess how many healthcare lobbyist are funding Cruz with NO DEBT CEILING?
I know one thing....run for office against a Republican and you will surely find yourself in Congress next year.
Bring back Clinton-era tax rates. If we had kept them in place there would be no debt now, and we could have legitimate tax relief.
Instead, we're going to go into default on Cruz control.
Cruz should have his picture in the dictionary under "Anarchist".
Wake up America, Cruz is trying to destroy what we servicemen and women fought for over 200 years. Since the Speaker of the House refuses to do his job, lets impeach him, and do it NOW.
Cruz is an interloper, send the Canuck back where he came from.
Where's the "Only Boot Licking O bots Allowed To Post Here" sign?
Republicans want to change this country so that the MINORITY can rule.
Obamacare is like 0.0001% of the budget. Let's talk about why we have 600 foreign bases instead. Let's talk about government employees getting lifelong retirement benefits the general population does not.
With Obamacare, Ted Cruz will finally be able to get the mental health care he needs.
Hmm creative kinda like Enron and their debt.
What was that "Three Dog Night" song? Oh yes is was "Liar" It should be played before Teddy walks into a room!!!!!
I'm fully convinced that the GOP's target isn't President Obama at all, but the American people who they've figured they'll never be able to reach by voter suppression. They're trying to get people so exhausted and to completely lose hope so they'll simply retreat from all interest in democracy.
I like it when both parties stand up and fight at the congress level. DO NOT LIKE Presidents doing this because of tyranny. Both parties should be fighting a lot to get budget under control to do the best for the most people in the U.S. Yeah, day-dreaming and hopeful. So, stand up and fight and keep doing this every year. Good for Cruz and good for the country because the problems are way beyond 'shutting down the government - folks!'
These Tea-baggers need to be recalled to their Home Districts and soundly horsewhipped.
He really doesn't seem to understand or care if we default on our loans. That's the thing. He seems to have forgotten that under Bush we had two wars and tax cuts and that is a part of the deficit. If we default, we will be back to an even worse recession than 2008. The people re-elected the president. If they wanted The Affordable Care Act repealed, they would have elected Romney. It is disgusting and frightening. The people of Texas can keep him.