(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."
Republicans did not care about the deficit when Bush was running it up from the planned surplus Clinton left us. All of this budget worry is just racial hatred directed against President Obama by neo-confederates intent on taking us back 150 years. They deserve the destruction they experienced the last time they tried to wreck the union and those in congress trying to wreck the country deserve the penalty given to traitors & terrorists.
Ted Cruz keeps feeding them the Kool-Aid . and this is the Tea Parties Poster Boy . May God save America from idiots like him.
Ted Cruz is the reincarnation of Joseph McCarthy.
If you watched the entire Cruz interview and the interview of the Treasury Secretary and followed Candy's line of questioning and do not believe there is a bias in the journalistic community, please seek help.
Fortunately I like Chinese food so I am not that worried about the fact that cretins like Cruz are going to make USA default on our debts. When that happens China and our other big lenders will call their loans and we will be chop suey. That is what usually happens when dead-beats can't pay their debts.
Hey Ted... April 12, 1861 called... it wants its worldview back.
Didn't the democrats shut down the country a total of 10 times during the Reagan years?
Yup, the inmates (Tea Party) are in charge of the asylum.Fasten your seatbelts!
This is not a circus. We should not use the dept ceiling as a leverage. That is dangerous for the economy and the country. TObamacare is optional. I don't see why they are fighting for it. Don't destroy the economy.
The Republicans in the Senate need to remove him from their caucus. He has proved to be an imminent danger to the United States through his lunatic ranting and raving. Send him back to Texas, then allow Texas to secede from the Union (hopefully with a bunch of Southern States). Let's see them get by with no help from the Feds.
Cruz is a lunatic using this crisis for his own political gain... He and Palin should be banned from politics and sent to fantasy Island where they both seem to come from
So Texas shut down our Federal Government.
Those that support Ted Cruz really don't understand how our government is supposed to work... Get a clue folks and brush up on how the founding fathers structured our government processes. Holding the government in financial hostage in order to attempt to change a ratified bill is treasonous! The only legal way to abolish 'ObamaCare' is to put forth an amendment. Geez...did any of you ultra-conservatives make it past the 6th grade?
bless you encourage you all to read Acts 5: 38, and 39
A Canadian Mexican representing Texas . Maybe Texas should secede from the Union !
Kruz is another shinig example of the depths that radical Tea Party politicians will sink to in their disgusting effort to obstruct President Obama. Ever since their loss in 2012, their ONLY intent has been to delay, damage, and undo ANY attempt by the President to help America recover after the Republican owned banks nearly ruined the economy. Kruz is worse than a terrorist. He's a turncoat.
Ted Cruz is an idiot and embarrassment to Texas!
how bout we rein in cruz? do republicans really buy his spiel?
@just clarifying: the problem is that an unbiased assessment concludes that Cruz is simply bad for the country. He sees threats of destruction as the only way to govern, and he is obsessed with stopping Obamacare, even if he cripples the economy to do so.
Does he have a legitimate concern about new taxes or cutting government spending? I say he does not, but I am willing to discuss it - I am willing to talk about it as a nation... but not when Cruz puts a gun to our throat. His approach is harming the country - and that is the conclusion everyone should have, liberal or conservative.
We keep taking off our shoes trying to find the terrorist. Why are we playing this game, we know that the threat to Americans is Congress and this type of division. How is this situation a United States of anything and more importantly we are watching the evolution of CNN into Fox News.
BOEHNER AND TEA PARTY ARE DEFINITELY OUTLAWS. NEVER EVER REELECT THESE OUTLAWS. THEY ARE A SHAME OF AMERICA.
What does B0 really believe ? He changes his mind about as often as his underwear. Must be what he meant by “Change”
"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills.
It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies.
Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally.
Leadership means that, 'the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren.
America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."
~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006
Cruz is Cruzing in the wrong direction and is following the DEVIL Boehner and he is going to get kicked on his asssss wait & watch!!!
The president can use an executive order to get around the default because defaulting is a threat to national security. The president would extend the previous years payments to cover the most recent year. What amazes me is that republicans would paint such bold targets on their localities prior to appropriations and authorizations early 2014. It is plainly apparent that the shutdown's pitfalls will be used by the administration to make voters aware of their part in this. I heard a report that blue states are in office to handle wic but red state mothers are in areas under a stricter shutdown.
Cruz is a loose cannon on a personal rampage. This man has nothing to do with good government.