Ted Cruz is making no apologies for signing a controversial letter to Iran.
On MSNBC's Morning Joe on Tuesday, the senator from Texas told hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski that despite the fallout from an open letter to Tehran, which critics have charged was "mutinous," he would sign it again.
"I would sign it, and, as John Hancock said, I would sign it in large print," he said, "so that the ayatollah wouldn't need his reading glasses to read the signature."
Visibly exasperated, Brzezinski asked Cruz if the intention of the letter, which was signed by 46 other Republicans in the Senate, was to "get in the way" of President Obama's negotiations with Iran to stop Tehran from gaining nuclear capabilities.
"It was intended to stop a bad deal. Absolutely," he said. "And beyond that, it was also intended to defend the Constitution."
The letter, which the GOP senators sent to Tehran last week, charged that because Congress must ratify international agreements, any nuclear deal reached with the Obama administration could well be undone after he leaves office.
Cruz also addressed his headline-making weekend visit to New Hampshire, when he reportedly scared a three-year-old girl after firing off a standard line that "the whole world's on fire."
"The world is on fire?" asked a trepidatious Julie Trant, who was sitting with her mother.
"The world is on fire. Yes! Your world is on fire," Cruz continued. Then, taking a softer tone, he assured her things would get better. "But, you know what? Your mommy's here, and everyone's here to make sure that the world you grow up in is better."
The likely presidential contender said that he'd talked with the girl's mother, Michelle, who told Boston's WRKO radio that despite the slew of reports to the contrary, her daughter wasn't "terrified" by Cruz. He also told Seth Meyers, of NBC's Late Night, that the story wasn't as bad as media reports made it seem.
"In the last 24 hours there have been 50 media stories that say, 'Cruz terrifies little girl.' And by the end of it I was Freddy Krueger. I had the fingernails. I mean, it was terrible," Cruz said on the show Monday. Trant, he said, told her daughter that Cruz would put out the fire.
"So when I talked to her mom this afternoon, her daughter Julia was in the background," he continued. "And she said, 'Ted Cruz is on the phone. Who's Ted Cruz?' and her daughter said, 'The fireman!' "
Kids, Meyers weighed in, are "so bad with metaphors."
This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.