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Senate Hopeful Ted Cruz: Tea Party Intellectual?

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US Senate hopeful Ted Cruz laughed off his media distinction as a "Tea Party Intellectual." (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

US Senate hopeful Ted Cruz laughed off his media distinction as a “Tea Party Intellectual.” (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — U.S. Senate hopeful Ted Cruz says he’s ready to go to Washington and argue eloquently for free market principles, individual responsibility and policies that benefit entrepreneurship.

But don’t call him a tea party intellectual. He told The Associated Press in an interview, “I don’t even know what that means.”

Cruz is a grassroots darling who upset the mainstream Republican choice, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, in a runoff primary election in Texas this week.

He’s now the GOP nominee to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Cruz says he can help conservatives win America’s national political argument.

But his opponent, Democratic nominee Paul Sadler, says Cruz is so extreme that moderates are petrified by the idea of him in the U.S. Senate.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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