DALLAS -- There is a new buzz surrounding Sen. Ted Cruz (R - Texas). More than one national publication says he is prepping for a run for president.
He denied the rumors Thursday before a 25th anniversary dinner for the Institute for Policy Innovation, a Dallas-based policy research institute.
"My focus is entire on the U.S. Senate. That's where the battlefield is," he said, answering the only question his staff gave News 8 time to ask. "I can't help what the media choose to write about or don't write about."
Cruz got a standing ovation as he took the stage, before he even said a word.
"Here in Texas, want to see the definition of excitement? Take a look at a Ted Cruz voters," said emcee Mark Davis.
The crowd whistled and screamed.
But Cruz didn't appear without controversy. Just outside, protesters held signs and chanted, demanding immigration reform.
"He's one of two Texas senators opposing a fair pathway to citizenship with immigration reform," said protester Danny Cendejas.
Inside the event, those protests were not discussed. VIPs stood in line just to get a photo with the senator.
Cruz has speeches scheduled in South Carolina Friday and New York later this month.