Ted Cruz, the Texas tea party favorite who last week became the latest conservative candidate to win an upset in a U.S. Senate primary, argued on Sunday that the wave that propelled tea party hopefuls in 2010 will only grow bigger until career members of both parties cut government spending.
“The American people are looking at you and saying, ‘What’s wrong with you people?’” Cruz, now the heavy favorite to win the general election, said on Fox News Sunday. “The principles voters are looking for are not that complicated: Live within your means, don’t spend money you don’t have.”
Cruz is the third conservative U.S. Senate candidate to score an upset this year, following Richard Mourdoch in Indiana and Deb Fischer in Nebraska.
Pushed on whether he’d be willing to compromise, Cruz said although he’d like to work with everyone in the Senate, he would never agree to a deal that added more money to the national deficit.
“The problem so many Republicans fall into is they compromise falling backward,” he said.
The former Texas solicitor general has also gained notice because, like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, he is Cuban-American. Cruz said Latino voters are naturally conservative, arguing that he’s never seen a Hispanic “panhandler” because hard-work is such an important value in that community.
“It would be shameful to be on the street begging,” he said.