Cruz, speaking at the National Review Institute summit in Washington, was quick to say he wasn’t criticizing Romney, but that the party lost a messaging battle with the electorate and that comment was just a symptom of the problem.

“To sum up what went wrong last election, I think it comes down to two words: 47 percent. Now by that I don’t mean that ill-fated comment. I think Mitt Romney is a good man. He worked very very hard. He’s a decent man of character. Anyone can have a slip of the tongue. What I mean by 47 percent is the narrative of the last election. The narrative of the last election was that 47 percent were dependent on government [and] we don’t have to worry about them. … It buys into the premise that the economic pie is fixed and that it never changes,” Cruz said.