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Watch Cruz's Response When CNN Host Asks if He'll Apologize for Calling McConnell a Liar

Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz declined Thursday to apologize for calling Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) a liar on the Senate floor last summer.

"Will you apologize?" CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash asked the Texas senator during a sit-down interview, noting that doing so could earn him backing from several Republican senators.

"This is why people are so frustrated with Washington," Cruz replied. "It's the inside battles back and forth. This isn't a game. This isn't about Washington power brokers. This isn't a smoke-filled room."

Cruz then contended President Barack Obama and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton should apologize for the current state of the American economy.

"So no apology to Mitch McConnell? Because it could help you," Bash said.

"Look, my focus is not on Washington," Cruz said. "That ain't going to happen. If Washington lobbyists want to see that happen, they can hold their breath a long, long time."

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