Sen. Ted Cruz staked out a firm position against bailouts Tuesday night, pledging in the Republican presidential debate that he would "absolutely" go after big banks that were rescued by the government in the financial crisis.

"The opening question ... would you bail out the big banks again? Nobody gave you an answer to that. I'll give you an answer," Cruz said. "Absolutely not."

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Cruz suggested that if a bank were to face failure, he would support the Federal Reserve acting as a lender of last resort and issuing loans to struggling banks at penalty interest rates.

Otherwise, however, he firmly endorsed ending bailouts and limiting the Fed's role in conducting monetary policy.

"Let me be clear, I would not bail them out," Cruz said of big banks.

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