(CNN) - An on-going feud playing out in the Republican Party between lawmakers Rep. Peter King and Sen. Ted Cruz sounds like the very beginning of a GOP presidential primary battle.
Perhaps underscoring an establishment v. tea party division the GOP, King, a longtime congressman from New York, said Wednesday Cruz "has decided to be the center of his own universe" after the conservative powerhouse from Texas dismissed King's criticism of his style of politics.
Last week, appearing on CNN's Erin Burnett "OutFront," King called Cruz a "fraud," hitting his no-compromise approach.
"Last year, (Cruz) induced the Congress to shutdown the government and after they did it, he couldn't deliver at all," King said.
Appearing on "OutFront" on Tuesday, the freshman senator disregarded the comments
"I don't think I had ever heard of him since he started getting on television attacking me, he's welcome to express," he said.
And King offered a pointed response Wednesday, telling CNN's Wolf Blitzer "This proves what happens when Ted Cruz has decided to be the center of his own universe, to live in his own world."
"To not know who the members of Congress are, the members of the Senate. That's really his problem. Maybe if he had listened to me he'd be a little bit smarter."
Both Republicans are weighing presidential runs in 2016.
King jokes the "gloves are off," in a potential GOP primary debate.
"What happens, happens, but I certainly hope Ted Cruz doesn't get the nomination," King said.
CNN's Dana Davidsen and Sara Fischer contributed to this report.