Fox News host Megyn Kelly challenged Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) at times on Tuesday as criticism followed his official entry into the presidential race.
“On your time in the Senate — this is what some of your critics point to — they say, yes you led the fight on certain issues, but what have you actually accomplished?” Kelly asked.
“What we’ve accomplished over and over again, in many instances, is stopping bad things from happening,” Cruz responded.
Cruz then took credit for leading the opposition to bills he said targeted law-abiding citizens following the Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting in 2012.
“Much of Washington was consigned, [saying] ‘We can’t stop this, the train is moving, get on board,'” he told Kelly. “I did everything I could to energize and mobilize the grassroots to stand up and protect the Second Amendment. And every single proposal of Barack Obama to undermine the Second Amendment was voted down on the Senate floor.”
“But when you’re the president, you have to bring together coalitions to get things through,” she said. “You can’t just be somebody who stops things. You have to be somebody who gets things through.”
Cruz responded by saying that, while Democrats “basically shut the Senate down,” he had more bills pass the Senate than “all but a handful” of his fellow GOP members.
Later, Cruz said he had proven in Texas that he could reassemble what he called “the Reagan coalition.”
“We brought together conservatives and libertarians and evangelicals and women and young people and Hispanics and Reagan Democrats,” he said.
“All those people are now being told that you’re ‘scary,’ ‘dangerous,’ and ‘slimy,'” Kelly replied. “This is what you’re up against.”
“But they were told that in the Texas Senate race, too,” he countered. “And you know, in Texas, I won 40 percent of the Hispanic vote at the same time that Mitt Romney was getting clobbered with 27 percent of the Hispanic vote.”
Cruz did not mention, however, that a poll taken by his own staff showed him gaining less support among Latino respondents than his opponent, Democrat Paul Sadler. Sadler outscored Cruz in that demographic by 20 percentage points, even though Cruz won over 56.5 percent of the overall electorate.
Watch the interview, as aired by Fox News on Tuesday, below.