Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said the questions raised by Donald Trump's campaign will ultimately help Cruz's efforts to be the next president since he has repeatedly stood up to the Washington establishment.

"I think Donald's campaign has been immensely beneficial for our campaign, and the reason is, he's framed the central issue of this Republican primary as, 'Who will stand up to Washington?' Well, the natural follow up, if that's the question, is, 'Who has actually stood up to Washington?'" Cruz said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

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Cruz, who ranks sixth in the Washington Examiner's presidential power rankings, said his record of standing up to leadership in Washington on issues ranging from Obamacare to taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood is "markedly different" from the other candidates running for president.

He spoke specifically about his efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, noting that other GOP 2016 candidates were absent from that fight.

"Where were the other candidates? It was like they were in the witness protection program," he said.

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