Ted Cruz Praises 'Brash' Christie but Calls for Principled Leadership

Sen. Ted Cruz pushed back today at N.J. Gov. Chris Christie's suggestion that America is "angry with the dysfunction in Washington," an implicit criticism of the tea party-driven government shutdown.

Cruz offered tepid praise for Christie, who cruised to a second term Tuesday night, but suggested that conservatives are craving a leader who will not back down or compromise.

"I think it is terrific that he is brash, that he is outspoken, and that he won his race," Cruz told ABC News in the Capitol today. "But I think we need more leaders in Washington with the courage to stand for principle. And in particular, Obamacare is not working."

Asked whether Christie is a true conservative, Cruz walked away. Aides said he didn't have time for more questions.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican who launched a write-in campaign against a tea party rival who defeated her in a primary race in 2010, said she was delighted by Christie's broad-based victory.

"People are looking for that voice of moderation, the individual or individuals that will speak to the issues that are of concern to the people, not the politics of what's going on here in Washington," Murkowski told ABC News.

"I think the American public's looking for a solution, looking for some governance, and they're frustrated because they don't see enough of that going on around here."