Asked by NBC News about his own record of compromise, Cruz said, “From the day I was elected, I have consistently said my approach on compromise is the same as Reagan’s.”

“Reagan used to say, ‘What do you do if they offer you half a loaf? The answer: You take it – and then you come back for more.’ And so from Day One, I’ve said I’m perfectly happy to compromise with anyone – Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians.”

But Cruz’s record in the U.S. Senate – no matter who is to blame – is not one of compromise.

“Ted Cruz is no Reagan,” said Chester Pach, a historian at Ohio University writing a book on Reagan’s presidency.

“It’s not that there’s a lack of conviction or principle among people who hold elected office,” Pach said. “But it’s a struggle to find willingness to do basic things like pass a budget.”