Though the girl's mother later said that her daughter hadn't been traumatized by the experience and now calls Cruz "the fire man," the Internet was quick to shame the Texas Republican for seemingly terrifying a child.
During an interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Tuesday, Cruz accused the press of purposely fanning the flames of the controversy (OK, that one was on purpose), making him out to be some sort of villainous monster.
“This is blown up in the media. Every reporter has written about it,” Cruz said. "And it’s gotten worse and worse. It was first ‘Girl Startled.’ Then it became ‘Girl Terrified.’ By the end of it I’m Freddy Krueger torturing this girl in her nightmare.”
The episode took place during a speech in New Hampshire on Sunday, and Cruz said the contrast between the local and national media organizations covering the event was stark.
"It's interesting, there's a big divide between local press and national press," Cruz said. "The local press all covered the substance of what I said, the reactions of what happened. The national press was all about the little girl and me terrifying her. You can literally read the stories side by side as if they're covering Mars and Venus."