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Ted Cruz On Missed Hearings: "That's The Way Our System Works"

"What is the simple reality is anyone who is running for president, you have to be out campaigning in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina. You've gotta be listening to the people, you've gotta be out meeting the people, hearing their questions."

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Republican Senator Ted Cruz said Tuesday during an appearance on "The Kelly File" that missing committee hearings and votes is a consequence of running for president "responsibly."

Cruz was responding to a question about a BuzzFeed News article that revealed he had missed committee hearings this year for television appearances and a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference.

"What is the simple reality is anyone who is running for president, you have to be out campaigning in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina. You've gotta be listening to the people, you've gotta be out meeting the people, hearing their questions," Cruz said.

"That's the way our system works. It's a great system. That takes time," Cruz continued. "If you look at every senator that's run for president consistently, they end up having to miss a lot of committee meetings, a lot of votes, because to do the job responsibly of running for president, you need to look voters in the eyes and answer their questions."

Politico reported on Sen. Cruz's absence from 21 of 135 roll call votes this year and his "below average" attendance at various committee hearings, but also noted that Cruz's attendance issues were not isolated to the period around his presidential run.

In response to BuzzFeed News' original article on Cruz's missed hearings, his spokeswoman said the following: "If you are making the point he can't talk about such topics because he wasn't at these two hearings that is utterly ridiculous. But I don't know what your point is because you have no question. Do I want to comment on whatever it is you have here? Sure, use the first sentence because I find this inquiry ridiculous. But if you have an actual question instead of just lining up a series of links and a bland ask for comment, ask it."

Watch Cruz's response in the video below.

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Contact Molly Ward at molly.ward@buzzfeed.com.

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