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Ted Cruz wishes Obama would "insult me to my face" over the Syrian refugee crisis.

No, really, nothing would make him happier. The Texas senator has been doing his darndest to get out in front of the nativist upswell that has gathered strength in the aftermath of last Friday’s Paris attacks, calling for a religious test to screen out all Muslim refugees arriving in the United States from Syria. On Wednesday, he could barely conceal his giddiness as he issued a challenge to the president to debate/duel him on the issue at a time and place of Obama’s choosing. “We’ll do it on any station,” said Cruz, “I’m sure any of the TV stations would be glad to host it.”

“He just called me ‘offensive.’ The day before, he called me ‘un-American,’” he said of Obama, who has not called Cruz either of those things. “It is completely remarkable that President Obama has now chosen, two days in a row, to attack me directly,” Cruz continued, confusing general comments Obama has made with personal attacks on him, Ted Cruz.

President Obama has not responded to the challenge, as he is in the Philippines attending an Asian trade summit.