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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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April 7th, 2014
05:38 PM ET

Cruz: Washington elites won't be effective at picking GOP nominee

(CNN) – Senator Ted. Cruz, R-Texas, often rubs establishment Republicans the wrong way.

The feeling is mutual.

Speaking on what he views is the path to victory for Republicans, Cruz said, "I don't think Washington elites are going to be very effective picking the nominee."

"I think it's going to be, quite rightly, a decision for the grassroots to make," Cruz said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

That would certainly benefit the Texas Republican, who came to the U.S. Senate on a wave of tea party support.

Cruz is considered a potential 2016 presidential candidate, but he would likely not be establishment Republicans' first pick.

With New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie embroiled in a controversy over lane closures that led to a massive traffic jam, there has been renewed interest in former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

On Sunday, Bush said the debate over immigration reform needs to move past derisive rhetoric describing illegal immigrants.

"Yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony. It's an act of love, it's an act of commitment to your family," Bush told Fox News host Shannon Bream at town hall event at the George Bush Presidential Library Center.

"We need to be a nation that welcomes and celebrates legal immigrants, people who follow the rules, and come here according to the law," said Cruz in response.

"Rule of law matters. And if you look at any sovereign nation, securing your border is critically important," said the freshman lawmaker.

"We need to solve the problem to secure the borders and then improve and streamline legal immigration so people can come to America consistent with the rule of law," said Cruz.

For more of our interview with Sen. Ted Cruz, including his legislation to address Iran's controversial nominee for U.N. ambassador, and his thoughts on the latest shooting in Fort Hood, check out the video above.

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