By Jonathan Swan - 01-28-16 21:47 PM EST
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz laid into Fox News's moderators during Thursday night's debate, jokingly threatening to leave the stage if they keep asking "mean" questions.
Turning to moderator Chris Wallace, Cruz said, "I would note that the last four questions have been, 'Rand, please attack Ted. Marco, please attack Ted. Chris, please attack Ted. Jeb, please attack Ted.'
"Gosh, if you guys ask one more mean question, I may have to leave the stage," the Texas senator added, in a shot at front-runner Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Republican debate over his battle with Fox News host Megyn Kelly.
Cruz, who is vying with Trump to win Monday's Iowa caucuses, has been criticizing the billionaire as being too thin-skinned to answer tough questions and too arrogant to submit himself before Iowa voters at Thursday night's Des Moines debate.
After Cruz finished his speech, rival Marco Rubio said: "Don't worry. I'm not leaving the stage, no matter what you ask me."