'I'm getting sick of it': Sean Hannity and Ted Cruz have testy exchange before New York primary

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Sean Hannity Loses It With Ted Cruz

Conservative radio host Sean Hannity and Sen. Ted Cruz had a testy back and forth on the host's Tuesday show, with Hannity telling the Texas senator at one point that he was "getting sick of" Cruz dodging "legitimate questions."

The interview got off to a tense start right off the bat. Hannity suggested Americans were wondering about what role delegates play in the process of choosing a nominee, with talk of a contested Republican convention heating up.

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Cruz sharply disputed this notion.

"Sean, with all respect, that's not what people are concerned about," Cruz said. "I'm campaigning every day. People are concerned about bringing jobs back to America. People are concerned about raising wages. People are concerned about getting the federal government off the backs of small businesses, and people are concerned about beating Hillary" Clinton.

Cruz said the media "loves to obsess" about the process of choosing a Republican nominee for president. He said what amounted to "whining" from Donald Trump's campaign about the delegate process being unfair is "silly."

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'I'm getting sick of it': Sean Hannity and Ted Cruz have testy exchange before New York primary
Texas Solicitor General R. Ted Cruz, left, and Don. R. Willett, right, leave the federal courthouse after a pre-trial hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2003, in Austin, Texas. Lawyers and federal judges met earlier to plan for the upcoming redistricting trial. Willett is deputy Attorney General for Legal Counsel. (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck)
Ted Cruz, from the Texas Attorney General's Office, speaks to members of the House Ways and Means Committee Tuesday, April 18, 2006, in Austin, Texas. Texas lawmakers embark on a 30-day special session to repair the state's method of paying for public education. Cruz explained the court rulings on school finance to the committee. (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 21: Ted Cruz (R) Texas (Photo By Douglas Graham/Roll Call)
Texas US Senate Republican primary candidate Ted Cruz, left, talks with his father Rafael Cruz as he works at the campaign's phone bank, on election day, Tuesday, May 29, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Texas Republican Ted Cruz speaks to reporters Tuesday, May 29, 2012, in Houston. Cruz placed second behind Lt. Gov. David Dewurst in a field of nine candidates in the Republican primary race for a U.S. Senate seat. Cruz and Dewhurst will square off in a second round of voting July 31. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
U.S. Senate Candidate Ted Cruz, right, has a discussion with David Dewhurst supporter Sherri Heinzman before the Texas Federation of Republican Woman luncheon during the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth, Texas, Friday, June 8, 2012. Cruz is competing with Dewhurst for the Republican nomination to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. They face a runoff July 31 after no one in a crowded GOP field won a majority of the votes cast in last month's primary. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz arrives for a luncheon near the state Republican convention, Friday, June 8, 2012, in Fort Worth, Texas. (Ron T. Ennis/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
U.S. Senate candidate candidate Ted Cruz and his wife, Heidi, wave to delegates after he spoke on the final day of the state Republican convention at the FWCC on Saturday, June 9, 2012, in Fort Worth, Texas. (Ron T. Ennis/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2012 file photo, Sen.-elect Ted Cruz, R-Texas, left, smiles as he listens to campaign chief consultant Jason Johnson go over election results as they come in, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, speaks at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013. Cruz was scheduled to speak on the scope of treaty power in the U.S. Constitution. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2014 file photo, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas talks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Never mind dropping oil prices. U.S. producers are pushing harder than ever for the right to sell U.S. crude oil overseas. It might seem counterintuitive: Oil prices are as low as they have been at any point since 2009 and the height of the Great Recession. Depending on the projection, prices could drop further still with slowing economies across the world. Oil producers are playing a longer game, betting that long-term demand remains strong and new markets offer lucrative rewards for U.S. producers. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke, File)
LYNCHBURG, VA - MARCH 23: Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) stands on stage his his daughter, Catherine Cruz, 4, left, his wife, Heidi Cruz, and his older sister, Caroline Cruz, 6, right, after he made a speech announcing his candidacy for a presidential bid at Liberty University on Monday March 23, 2015 in Lynchburg, VA.(Photo by Matt McClain/ The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks as he campaigns Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
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Hannity came back at Cruz, telling him that he hears from people who tell him that they "find this whole process confusing."

Trump has went on a tear over the past several days, calling the delegate process "rigged" after a series of contests in which Cruz's campaign outmaneuvered Trump in the battle for delegates. If no candidate reaches the required 1,237 delegates to lock down the Republican nomination, many delegates that would be bound to Trump on the first convention ballot could vote for a different candidate on subsequent ballots.

Hannity pointed out that the Cruz campaign has focused on wooing delegates who might be able to switch their vote from Trump to Cruz on a second convention ballot.

"It's more than a process question," Hannity said. "It's an integrity-of-the-election question."

Cruz responded that the "only people asking this question are the hardcore Donald Trump supporters."

Hannity told him he had to "stop."

"Senator, why do you do this every single time," Hannity said, cutting Cruz off as he was speaking. "You've got to stop. Every time I have you on the air, and I ask a legitimate question, you try to throw this in my face. I'm getting sick of it. I've had you on more than any other candidate on radio and TV. So if I ask you, senator, a legitimate question to explain to the audience, why don't you just answer it?"

Cruz asked if he could answer Hannity's question "without being interrupted."

"Go ahead," Hannity responded.

Cruz explained his view on the delegate process at length:

"All of this noise and complaining and whining has come from the Trump campaign because they don't like that they lose five elections in a row. That Republicans are uniting behind our campaign. So they're screaming on Drudge and it's getting echoed, this notion of voter-less elections. It is nonsense. They are making it up. Over 1.3 million people voted. We won landslides in all five.

Now there is a second component beyond the elections, which is the individual delegates are elected by the people. Donald Trump's campaign does not know how to organize on the grassroots. And so when the delegates are elected, conservative activists, real conservative activists show up, and we are winning those elections over and over and over again. The Donald Trump campaign doesn't know what they're doing. They don't show up."

Cruz said later that he "couldn't help" that the Trump campaign "does not seem capable of running a lemonade stand."

Listen to the audio below:

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