Observers have described Cruz as "confrontational" and "polarizing." A number of recent profiles of the junior senator from Texas cited his aggressive questioning of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) during Hagel's recent Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing for secretary of Defense.
In the early days of the 113th Congress, Cruz has introduced legislation to repeal the Obama administration's healthcare reform law, criticized a bipartisan effort to craft an immigration reform bill, and attacked Chicago Mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's efforts to curb gun violence in Chicago.
On Saturday, The New York Times quoted Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) comparing some of the comments Cruz made during Hagel's committee appearance to accusations made by then-Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.) in the 1950s while McCarthy sought to root out Communists in the federal government.
"It was reminiscent of some bad times," Boxer said.
At Larue Tactical, Cruz shrugged off the comments.
"Washington is a rough-and-tumble place, and I certainly don't mind if some will take shots at me," Cruz said. "What I do think is unfortunate is if the coverage of the political game overshadows the substance."
Sen. Cruz defends combative style
"Washington has a long tradition of trying to hurl insults to silence those who they don't like what they're saying," Cruz said, according to Reuters. "I have to admit I find it amusing that those in Washington are puzzled when someone actually does what they said they would do."