Megyn Kelly kicked off her first-ever primetime Fox News show with a question for Republican firebrand Ted Cruz: "What's it like to be the most hated man in America?"
The Texas senator acknowledged that there have been "more than a few Democrats who are throwing rocks in my direction."
"They are throwing every insult they can but the reality is most Americans don't care about politicians bickering, they are looking for people to solve the problems," Cruz said on the premiere of "The Kelly File."
With the partial government shutdown into its second week, Cruz praised his Republican counterparts in the House of Representatives for passing bills, and blamed President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats for refusing to negotiate.
Kelly cited a poll that said 45 percent of respondents have an unfavorable opinion of Cruz, compared to just 26 percent who have a favorable opinion of him, and asked whether he is "costing yourself and the GOP."
"What the Democrats are trying to do is make this about the personalities," Cruz said. "They have engaged in relentless nasty, personal attacks...what matters is responding to the American people."
Kelly also asked Cruz about Obama's recent remarks about the freshman senator, in which Obama said that when he was new to the Senate, he didn't go "courting the media and I certainly didn’t go around trying to shut down the government."
"I think it's pretty remarkable the president feels the need to run out of his way to attack senators in the other party," Cruz said.
When Kelly asked Cruz again about concerns that he could be "costing Republicans the one body that they control," Cruz said the GOP needs to keep a hard line now more than ever.
"I think the fight we're engaged in right now is the most important fight for Republicans to win politically in 2014," Cruz said, adding that the recent elections that were disasters for Republicans "were years when we stayed quiet, we went along to get along."
"The only year that was a good year for Republicans was 2010, when we painted in bold colors, not pale pastel, we stood for principle. I think winning this fight right now is the most important thing we can do to see significant victories in 2014," he said.