Cruz’s comment was prompted by recent reports that the IRS targeted conservative groups applying for nonprofit tax status that were linked to the Tea Party. 

“It is a threat that the federal government is targeting, not big corporations or lobbyists, but normal American citizens that are standing up for liberty,” Cruz said. “It is a challenge that we all face to limit the power of Washington.”

Cruz has advocated for an overhaul of the U.S. tax code. A flat tax would ensure that everyone paid the same tax rate regardless of income levels. The FAIR Tax Act would eliminate the current tax code and establish a federal sales tax. Conservatives argue that a federal sales tax is “fair” because it’s based on consumption, but Democrats argue that it disproportionately affects low-income families since they would no longer be able to use the Earned Income Tax Credit among other reasons.