"Washington has a long tradition of trying to hurl insults to silence those who they don't like what they're saying," Cruz said, according to Reuters. "I have to admit I find it amusing that those in Washington are puzzled when someone actually does what they said they would do."

Observers have described Cruz as "confrontational" and "polarizing." A number of recent profiles of the junior senator from Texas cited his aggressive questioning of former Sen. Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelTrump’s bogus use of cyber threats to prop up coal GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Overnight Defense: Latest on historic Korea summit | Trump says 'many people' interested in VA job | Pompeo thinks Trump likely to leave Iran deal MORE (R-Neb.) during Hagel's recent Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing for secretary of Defense. 

In the early days of the 113th Congress, Cruz has introduced legislation to repeal the Obama administration's healthcare reform law, criticized a bipartisan effort to craft an immigration reform bill, and attacked Chicago Mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's efforts to curb gun violence in Chicago.

On Saturday, The New York Times quoted Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerKamala Harris on 2020 presidential bid: ‘I’m not ruling it out’ The ‘bang for the buck’ theory fueling Trump’s infrastructure plan Kamala Harris endorses Gavin Newsom for California governor MORE (D-Calif.) comparing some of the comments Cruz made during Hagel's committee appearance to accusations made by then-Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.) in the 1950s while McCarthy sought to root out Communists in the federal government.

"It was reminiscent of some bad times," Boxer said.

At Larue Tactical, Cruz shrugged off the comments.

"Washington is a rough-and-tumble place, and I certainly don't mind if some will take shots at me," Cruz said. "What I do think is unfortunate is if the coverage of the political game overshadows the substance."