Republican presidential candidate Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate panel advances bill blocking tech giants from favoring own products Lawmakers press Biden admin to send more military aid to Ukraine On The Money — Ban on stock trading for Congress gains steam MORE on Wednesday said he is sure his high school basketball coach was "horrified" when he butchered a reference to the movie "Hoosiers" during a campaign stop in Indiana, calling  a hoop a "basketball ring."
 
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"You know, look, sometimes when you're speaking and you guys have cameras in your face, you say things, you stumble over words," Cruz told reporters in Indiana in remarks broadcast by CNN.
 
He then suggested he is getting too much scrutiny for the flap, over which he's been mocked.
 
"I know nobody in the media has ever stumbled over a word. You've never said anything on air that was the wrong word as the wrong time," Cruz said sarcastically.
 
The Texas senator recalled being forced to run laps in high school when he said something wrong, joking, "I think my campaign team, after I messed up the reference to 'Hoosiers,' I think they wanted me to run laps."
During a rally in the gym where the movie was filmed, Cruz on Tuesday asked someone to measure the height of a basketball rim, a reference to the movie, saying about the GOP race, "There is nothing that Hoosiers cannot do."
 
Cruz argued Wednesday that the movie is one of his all-time favorites and the reference was meant to show that "power brokers in Washington want this race to be over, and the media, over and over again, are repeating Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPredictions of disaster for Democrats aren't guarantees of midterm failure A review of President Biden's first year on border policy  Hannity after Jan. 6 texted McEnany 'no more stolen election talk' in five-point plan for Trump MORE's spin that the race is over." 
 
Basketball has played an important role ahead of next week's Hoosier State primary, with famed former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight slated to appear late Wednesday at a rally for Trump, the party front-runner, in Indianapolis.