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Ted Cruz: I’m being silenced!

Tough-talking freshman Sen. Ted Cruz is attacking critics with a bold tactic: whining. The man who told the world, without evidence, that defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel might have taken money from Hamas or North Korea now complains his critics are trying to “silence” him – but it won't work.

"Washington has a long tradition of trying to hurl insults to silence those who they don't like what they're saying," said Cruz.

Cruz made his comments at a visit to a Texas gun maker that manufactures assault weapons for the civilian market. “He’s our type of guy,” kvelled the firm’s marketing manager. Indeed.

It’s true that critics from Chris Matthews to Sen. Barbara Boxer have heard more than an echo of Joe McCarthy in Cruz’s evidence-free attacks on Hagel. In the New York Times Saturday, Boxer compared Cruz’s dark insinuations against Hagel to the Wisconsin senator’s unsourced tirades against alleged Communists in the 1950s.

"It was really reminiscent of a different time and place, when you said, 'I have here in my pocket a speech you made on such and such a date,' and of course, nothing was in the pocket," Boxer said. "It was reminiscent of some bad times."

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