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Story highlights

"There will be accountability for Benghazi," Cruz said if he is elected

Cruz said American voters will administer a 'spanking' to Hillary Clinton if he is elected president

Washington CNN —  

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz cited Hillary Clinton and the Benghazi terrorist attack Friday when he said voters “have a way of administering a spanking,” similar to how he spanks his 5-year-old daughter.

“Was Secretary Clinton awake or asleep when four Americans were being murdered? We don’t know to this day,” Cruz told supporters at a coffee shop in Charles City, Iowa. “We do know Hillary told her daughter Chelsea, ‘Well gosh, I knew it was a terrorist attack,’ while we were out telling the American people it wasn’t. You know, I’ll tell you, in my house, if my daughter Catherine, the 5-year-old, says something she knows to be false, she gets a spanking.”

Cruz continued: “Well, in America, the voters have a way of administering a spanking.”

The Texas senator then pledged that as president he would have “accountability” for the 2012 attack.

Cruz was responding to a woman accusing Washington politicians of “skirting around Benghazi.”

Cruz has previously accused Clinton of blocking queries into the attack, telling CNN’s Erin Burnett in 2014 that Clinton “stonewalled” questions on the issue.

Messages left with the Cruz and Clinton campaigns Saturday afternoon were not immediately returned.

CNN’s Betsy Klein contributed to this report.