2012 Elections: News, Analysis, Videos, and Breaking on the Presidential Election, Local Elections, and More

2012 Elections: News, Analysis, Videos, and Breaking on the Presidential Election, Local Elections, and More

Complete coverage of the 2012 election

Cruz: If Obama Changes, I'll Work With Him

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Republican Ted Cruz defeated Democrat Paul Sadler by a wide margin to win the U.S. Senate seat currently held by retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. (Published Tuesday, Nov 6, 2012)

    New U.S. Senator Ted Cruz said he will work with President Barack Obama -- but only if Obama changes his ways.

    Cruz resoundingly beat Democrat Paul Sadler on Tuesday. The Republican spoke to supporters in Houston after the race was called.

    Cruz, who spoke when the presidential race was still undecided, said he hoped Republican Mitt Romney would defeat Obama. But he said that he hoped Obama would do more to work with both Democrats and Republicans if he was re-elected.

    If the president was re-elected, Cruz said he "will work with him."

    But Cruz -- a strident conservative with strong tea party support -- said that if Obama didn't change, he would fight to stop him.

    In front of more than 800 campaign supporters at a Houston hotel, Cruz held his wife, Heidi, and thanked her for sticking by him during the long campaign.

    Cruz stuck to his campaign talking points of limited government, but said he'd be willing to work with Democrats -- as long as the issue didn't involve expanding the power and size of government.

    He told NBC 5 that he would not move his family to Washington D.C. but instead will keep his Texas home and rent an apartment in the nation's capital.

    Cruz beat former Democratic state Rep. Paul Sadler. The ex-state solicitor general was heavily favored because Texas has not elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since Lloyd Bentsen in 1988. (See the latest tally here.)

    He succeeds retiring Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

    Cruz has become a national sensation since his upset July victory over Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to win the Republican senatorial nomination. That race was seen as a national test of the tea party's influence because Cruz painted the mainstream GOP choice Dewhurst as too moderate.

    He has since mended fences with state GOP leaders and said he would work with both parties in Congress.

    Cruz wants to build a wall the length of the Texas-Mexico border and abolish three federal departments.

    NBC 5's Omar Villafranca contributed to this report.