Sen. Ted Cruz is hitting back at fellow Republicans for criticizing his rhetoric on the Iran deal, and said Republicans have no hope of winning the White House if they talk more politely about the deal the way Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush want.

Cruz has come under fire from Republicans after he told the Washington Examiner that the Obama administration would become the leading financier of terrorism if sanctions are lifted under the Iran nuclear deal. Romney and Bush said Cruz's comments are hurting Republicans, but Cruz disagreed in a radio interview with host Chad Hasty.

"You know, one of the reasons Republicans keep getting clobbered is we have leaders like Mitt Romney and like Jeb Bush who are afraid to say that," Cruz said of his aggressive opposition to the deal.

Cruz went on to rail against Romney, arguing his toned down rhetoric cost him the election in 2012. "Part of the reason why Mitt Romney got clobbered by Barack Obama is because we all remember that third debate where Barack Obama turned to Mitt and said 'I said the Benghazi attack was terrorism and no one is more upset by Benghazi than I am' and Mitt, I guess listening to his own advice, said, 'well gosh I don't want to use any rhetoric so OK, never mind, I'll just kind of rearrange the pencil on the podium here,''' said Cruz.

The 2016 Republican presidential candidate also came to Mike Huckabee's defense over similar comments he had made about the Iran deal that drew a rebuke from Jeb Bush. "Jeb Bush is wrong. We shouldn't shy away from saying that," stated Cruz.

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