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“The biggest surprise has been the defeatist attitude of many Republicans in Washington,” Cruz told The Dallas Morning News in an interview. “A lot of Republicans felt beaten down, and that there was nothing they could do to stop the erosion of liberty in this country.”
 
“I’m referring to those who have been here a long time and have suffered some difficult election results and who I think were discouraged about being able to get anything done,” he added.
 
Cruz has served for fewer than three months of his first term in office, but has already made his mark as a conservative firebrand willing to take on senior figures in both parties.

Earlier this month he joined Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP senators call for probe of federal grants on climate change Overnight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — Key ObamaCare groups in limbo | Opioids sending thousands of kids into foster care | House passes bill allowing Medicaid to pay for opioid treatments US watchdog: 'We failed' to stem Afghan opium production MORE’s (R-Ky.) filibuster of Central Intelligence Agency chief John Brennan earlier this month, drawing the ire of Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainDon’t disrespect McCain by torpedoing his clean National Defense Authorization Act Meghan McCain rips Trump's 'gross' line about her dad Trump's America fights back MORE (R-Ariz.), and clashed with Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGrassley wants to subpoena Comey, Lynch after critical IG report Senate Gang of Four to meet next week on immigration Live coverage: High drama as hardline immigration bill fails, compromise vote delayed MORE (D-Calif.) over her proposed assault weapons ban.
 
Still, Cruz said Republicans in Washington have regained their footing in opposing President Obama on issues like the sequester, drone strikes and healthcare, and are now “winning the argument.
 
“I have been encouraged that the last several weeks have demonstrated that there is a great deal we can do to turn things around,” he said. “Indeed, if you look at the vote on sequester, the filibuster on drone strikes and the vote on defunding ObamaCare, for three weeks in a row, Republicans have stood together for principle ... I believe that’s the direction Republicans need to go.”