Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz says he hates the conventional wisdom that the only way for a conservative to win a general election is to run as a "Democrat-lite."
"How do we win?" Cruz asked voters at an Exeter, N.H., rally earlier this week, according to the Associated Press.
"Washington consultants always say 'the way you win is you run to the middle.' You run to the mushy middle, you blur the distinctions," he added. "Every time we do that, we lose."
The Texas senator said he prefers his approach, which he characterized as "telling the truth with a smile."
"That's how we win - with a clear contrast," he said.
Cruz pointed to the failed candidacies of Bob Dole, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Mitt Romney, who were all perceived to be moderates in the party, to support his position.
"What they did didn't work," he said. "We've got to do something different."