WATCH: Sen. Ted Cruz talks gay marriage, Obamacare with Jay Leno

Posted on 11 Nov 2013 at 11:11am

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz appeared on The Tonight Show Friday night, discussing his public image, Obamacare and gay marriage with host Jay Leno.

Leno jumped right in, asking Cruz during his late-night debut about his unflattering image during his 10 months in Washington.

“I’ve been reading a lot about you lately,” Leno said, “and they describe you as aggressive, arrogant and abrasive. Accurate?”

“I don’t know that you can believe everything you read,” Cruz said. “You know, what I’m trying to do is do my job. And occasionally people don’t like that.”

Leno later touched on Obamacare and how the 25 percent of uninsured Texans must want the coverage, but Cruz countered with it wouldn’t help people who have insurance keep their plans and would hurt jobs.

Asked if he’s against gay marriage, Cruz said, “I support marriage between one man and one woman. But I also think it’s a question for the states. Some states have made decisions one way on gay marriage. “Some states have made decisions the other way. And that’s the great thing about our Constitution, is different states can make different decisions depending on the values of their citizens.”

Leno then brought up Cruz’s father, Dallas-based pastor Rafael Cruz, who’s made headlines recently for saying that the goal behind gay marriage is to destroy the traditional family in order to pave the way for communism.

“My father is a pastor. He’s a man of deep integrity and you know, some folks have decided to try to go after him because they want to take some shots at me,” Cruz said. “… I think the critics are better off attacking me. My dad has been my hero my whole life.”

A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll released last week found that 32 percent of Texas Republicans favor Cruz as the GOP presidential nominee in 2016. As for other possible nominees, 13 percent of Texas Republicans favor Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, 10 percent favor Rand Paul, 6 percent favor Bobby Jindal, and 5 percent favor Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan.

Watch the three-part interview below.

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