AUSTIN, Texas -

Ted Cruz says no one should be shocked by the stir he's caused since arriving in the U.S. Senate.

The tea party favorite says that's exactly what he promised to do when he rode a tidal wave of grassroots, conservative support throughout Texas to get elected in the first place.

Addressing the Austin Chamber of Commerce on Friday, Cruz said Washington is "very, very surprised when you go there and actually do what you said you were going to do."

Cruz has embraced the role as political bomb-thrower. His first act was to introduce an amendment to repeal the White House-backed health care reform that had no hope of passing. He also backed Senator Rand Paul's filibuster in March of CIA Director John Brennan's nomination.

Cruz has since opposed nearly everything of significance that has come before him. Democrats have compared his style to McCarthyism.