Sen. Ted Cruz: Dems & Media ‘Afraid’ of Rubio Because He’s an ‘Intelligent, Conservative Hispanic’

Sen. Ted Cruz speaks about second amendment rights to a group at the LaRue Tactical manufacturing plant in Leander, Texas, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. (AP)

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) charged Tuesday that recent criticisms of Senate colleague Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) are because of his race.

“I think Democrats and the media are afraid of Marco Rubio because he is a smart, intelligent, conservative Hispanic. And they are looking for any excuse they can to attack him, because that threatens them,” Cruz told reporters during a tour of a gun manufacturing plant in Texas, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Cruz pointed to the news coverage of Rubio’s infamous water sip last week during his Republican State of the Union response as an example.

“Look, he took a drink of water in a speech. And it dominated the news for days with one network saying it was a career-ender,” he said, referencing a CNN graphic that asked the question the day after the speech.

Cruz, who has wasted no time in making a name for himself on Capitol Hill since his election in November, said the reaction to Rubio was about more than his being “just a prominent Republican.” Rubio has spoken often of his Hispanic upbringing, including Tuesday night in his State of the Union response.

“It’s not just a promising Republican. I think the Democrats view Marco Rubio as a particular threat because of his background, his life story. I think it they believe it is in their interest to inflict as much damage as possible and blow things wildly out of proportion,” Cruz said.

(H/T: The Hill)