Republican Sen. Ted Cruz says he sees it as a “badge of honor” that Democrats are “trying to take me out” as he runs for a third six-year term representing Texas in the Senate.

But as he faces another grueling re-election this year against a well-funded Democratic challenger, Cruz is not only serving up plenty of red meat for his conservative base, he’s also touting his bipartisan efforts to reach compromise.

“It’s possible to walk and chew gum at the same time,” Cruz explained when asked in a Fox News Digital interview how he squares the contrasting messages.

It’s a message his Democratic challenger isn’t buying.


Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz speaks to reporters on his way to the Senate weekly policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 6, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Cruz, first elected to the Senate in 2012 and the runner-up in the 2016 Republican presidential nomination race, is a self-described conservative champion and a firebrand long known for throwing verbal bombs at Democrats.

“Our country cannot stand four more years of disastrous Biden, Democrat policies. They’ve done enormous damage to the country,” the senator claimed.

And Cruz touted that he’s “proud to lead the fight against” what he described as “every dumb— idea that comes out of the Biden White House and there is no shortage of ideas that are really bad ideas.”

But the senator added that “at the same time, it is also my job to fight to accomplish real positive victories for the people of Texas, and I’ve been doing that since the day that I arrived.”

“I have been, year after year after year, introducing and passing legislation, almost all of it bipartisan, and winning big victories for Texas,” he emphasized.

Pointing to a major Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill that aims to improve airline service and air safety that was passed late last week by the Senate after Cruz spoke with Fox News Digital, the senator noted, “I’m the lead author of that, along with Maria Cantwell, the Democrat who’s the chair of the Commerce Committee. I’m the ranking member of the Commerce Committee.”

“It will be the 100th bill that I have written and passed into law,” 

And, he highlighted. that “my job here is to do both – to lead the fight against bad things and also fight to accomplish real, meaningful victories for jobs, for the safety and security of Texas, and to protect their rights.”


A month ago, the senator launched “Democrats for Cruz” messaging as part of a media blitz that included ads.

Rep. Colin Allred, a former professional football player in the NFL turned three-term congressman representing a suburban Dallas district and Cruz’s Democratic challenger, is skeptical.


Rep. Colin Allred and members of the Congressional Black Caucus address the media on the House steps of the U.S. Capitol, on Feb. 8, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

“He’s been proudly an extremist,” Allred charged in a recent interview with Fox News affiliates in Texas. “When I was in the NFL, we used to say, ‘Check the tape,’ because the tape doesn’t lie. And for Ted Cruz, the tape is very clear. For 12 years he’s been an extremist, a right-wing extremist.”

Allred added, “I think it’s kind of laughable that at this point he’s trying to show he has some level of moderation.”

Cruz doesn’t try to hide from his record.

“I have been the leading conservative champion in the Senate for 12 years. That is a role the people of Texas know they can count on me,” he spotlighted.

But he argued that it’s Allred who’s the extremist, claiming the congressman “has a hard left voting record… he’s voted in favor of open borders over and over and over again”


Cruz narrowly defeated then-Rep. Beto O’Rourke in a hard-fought 2018 Senate battle. The senator was significantly outraised by O’Rourke in a high-profile race that grabbed plenty of national attention.

Six years later, both Cruz and Allred are hauling in large amounts of campaign cash.

Cruz is warning that “we are seeing money flowing in from all over the country in support of my left-wing Democrat opponent. The Democrats plan to spend over $100 million, maybe as much as a $150 million, to try and beat me this year.”

“We need to win my race in Texas. It’s the number one target for Chuck Schumer. It’s the number one target. Barack Obama just tweeted out a map of states – here are the states we as Democrats are going to target. And he put Texas right front and center. They’re coming after me,” Cruz spotlighted.

Ted Cruz in Palm Beach, Florida

Sen. Ted Cruz speaks at a donor conference hosted by the conservative group the Club for Growth, on March 3, 2023, in Palm Beach, Florida. (Fox News – Paul Steinhauser)

But the senator revels in the attention.

“I’ve got to tell you, the fact that they’re coming after me, I wear as a badge of honor. I’d be disappointed if Schumer and Soros and Obama were not trying to take me out. I’d be asking, ‘Gosh am I not really making that much of a difference? Are they not that worried about how effective I am fighting against their policies?’ Well, their actions speak loudly. They want to take me out. They’re not going to succeed.”

Two years ago, Cruz flirted with making a second White House run in 2024, before ruling it out as he concentrated on his Senate re-election.

Asked if there could be another presidential run in 2028, the senator answered, “That’s a decision that will be made down the road.”

And, he stressed, “I’ve never had more fun than I am right now. Every morning I jump out of bed eager to be fighting in a fight that really matters.”

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

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