Cruz Confronts Recent Criticism

Cruz brushes off critics saying "That's the way of Washington"

By Omar Villafranca
|  Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013  |  Updated 9:02 PM CDT
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Senator Cruz returned to Dallas on Wednesday to talk jobs, but he answered questions on the criticism he's received from senators on both sides of the aisle, including Senator John McCain.

Omar Villafranca, NBC 5 News

Senator Cruz returned to Dallas on Wednesday to talk jobs, but he answered questions on the criticism he's received from senators on both sides of the aisle, including Senator John McCain.

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He's been written about in Forbes, the New York Times, Politico and the Washington Post.

Not bad for Texas' new Senator, Ted Cruz. But all the articles haven't been glowing.

Senator Cruz returned to Dallas on Wednesday to talk jobs, but he answered questions on the criticism he's received from senators on both sides of the aisle, including Senator John McCain.

His questioning of Defense Secretary Nominee Chuck Hagel has been described as a new version of "McCarthyism".

"That’s the way of Washington and I’ve got a thick skin," Cruz said before touring a metal casting shop in Dallas. "I don’t mind if people take shots at me. If Democrats, a number of them on the record, launched personal insults and attacks at me, if they want to do that, that’s fine. I have no intention of reciprocating.”

Cruz didn't back down from his style or method of questioning Hagel. Cruz, a college debate champion and attorney, said the questions concerning the source of payments made to Hagel were fair. Cruz even hinted that the White House and Democrats were pushing the "McCarthyism" narrative to take focus away from Hagel.

"The strategy, to some extent, has been effective," Cruz said. "The attention is focused on these personal insults and charges at me, rather than the underlying substantive questions of Chuck Hagel’s record."

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