By Daniel Strauss - 03/15/13 09:42 PM EDT
"I appreciate Sen. McCain's graciousness in saying that. On the substance, if it makes us wacko birds to stand for liberty, to stand for the Constitution, then that's a badge of honor I wear proudly," Cruz said.
Cruz noted that he praised McCain's military service in a speech on the Senate floor a day earlier, which was the 40th anniversary of McCain's release from a prisoner of war camp in Vietnam.
"I took to the Senate floor yesterday to commemorate and to honor John McCain for his valor, for his integrity, for his incredible courage to turn down early release and instead to spend years more in torture for his country, and so whatever senators may choose to say disparaging things about me, I have no intention of doing the same," Cruz said. "My focus, my job is to stand up for principles of liberty and to stand for the Constitution."
Cruz was then asked if he "gets along" with McCain.
"Lots of folks say things that they may regret later," Cruz responded. "I can't control what they say. What I can control is what I say and my focus is consistently focused on the substance and the merits."