Cruz made the comments following the terror attacks in Brussels on Tuesday. And Cruz on offered a locally-tailored indictment of political correctness, arguing to a women's Republican club in midtown Manhattan that security concerns had to come before the wishes of liberal Democrats.
Ted Cruz talks to New Yorkers about New York values
"I arrive in New York, and Mayor de Blasio promptly held a press conference to denounce me -- so I must be doing something right," Cruz said to applause. "If Mayor de Blasio ever holds a press conference and says 'I agree with Ted,' that will be the instant I hang it all up and realize I've gone terribly, terribly wrong."
Cruz has been on the defensive for the 24 hours after he called for increased patrols of places that have a greater incidence of "radical Islamic terrorism." That earned rebukes from President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and de Blasio.
"I just have to say it's reprehensible," de Blasio told reporters Tuesday. "His comments are not about safety and security. It's demagoguery."
"I'm never surprised when Barack Obama lashes out and attacks me," Cruz told reporters following the event. "And I'm never surprised when Mayor de Blasio lashes out and attacks me -- as he did yesterday -- because their policies are failures."
Cruz has heaped praise on de Blasio's predecessor as New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg, who Cruz said understood the role that "proactive policing" could play in prevent terror threats.
Cruz also reiterated a charge he has made against de Blasio for not adequately standing up for law enforcement, which at one point led some police officers to offer a public sign of disapproval.
"Mayor de Blasio is very unhappy with me because I said we should empower law enforcement," Cruz said, blasting the new mayor for "ostrich-head-in-the sand political correctness." "When the heroes of the NYPD stood up and turned their backs on Mayor de Blasio, they spoke not just for the men and women of New York, but for Americans."
"Mayor de Blasio," Cruz said at one point before drawing a crush of boos drowned out his next words. "Truly, he is beloved."