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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 senator asks to be taken off Moore fundraising appeals Red state lawmakers find blue state piggy bank Prosecutors tell Paul to expect federal charges against attacker: report MORE’s (R-Ky.) filibuster of Central Intelligence Agency chief John Brennan earlier this month, drawing the ire of Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP rushes to cut ties to Moore GOP strategist: 'There needs to be a repudiation' of Roy Moore by Republicans World leaders reach agreement on trade deal without United States: report MORE (R-Ariz.), and clashed with Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenators push mandatory sexual harassment training for members, staff Bipartisan group of lawmakers aim to reform US sugar program Senate panel to hold hearing on bump stocks 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.”