Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who announced Monday he is running for president, said in an interview this week he would "compromise with Martians" if elected to the office.
When asked by The Daily Signal whether questions about his willingness to work with Democrats are true, the Republican defended his views and said he is more than happy to reach across the aisle to get things done.
"On the allegation that gets repeated over and over again in the mainstream media that 'Cruz won't compromise' — which, by the way they say about almost every conservative — it's simply nonsense," Cruz said. "It's nothing that's ever come out of my mouth.
"I said from day one I'm happy to compromise with anybody: Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian. I've joked, I'll compromise with martians if they're willing to shrink the size and power of the federal government. If they're willing to turn around the debt that is bankrupting our kids and grandkids. If they're willing to defend our Constitutional liberties and expand liberty.
"But what I'm not willing to do is be complicit in making the problem worse."
Story continues below video.
Cruz became the first major candidate to enter the presidential race on Monday when he made the announcement
at Virginia's Liberty University.
Critics have said Cruz is a hard-liner who won't compromise with politicians who disagree with him. He refuted that claim Tuesday night.
"From the day I was elected, here's what I've said: My attitude on compromise is the same as Ronald Reagan's. Reagan said, 'What do you do if they offer you half a loaf?' Answer: you take it. And then you come back for more," Cruz said.
Using an example, Cruz talked about his desire to overhaul the United States tax code and have a flat tax across the board instead of the tiered system that is used now.
A flat tax is "where I'd like to end up," Cruz said, adding that he would be in favor of getting to that end goal in pieces.
"I'll take half a loaf in a heartbeat," he said.
Cruz was also asked about his decision to sign up
for healthcare on the Obamacare federal exchange. His wife took an unpaid leave of absence for the presidential campaign, leaving the family with the healthcare coverage it had been using.
"The mainstream media loves to play 'gotcha' games," Cruz said. "We're gonna do what anyone else would do, which is take their health insurance from their employer. So in all likelihood, we'll go on the exchange.
"I have zero intention of taking any government subsidy or Obama subsidy. Rather, what I'm gonna do is pay in the marketplace for health insurance for my family, just like millions of Americans."
Story continues below video.
Several other Republicans could potentially join Cruz in the race for the GOP nomination for president, including Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Sen. Scott Walker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.