"We must hold his and Congress' feet to the fire to once-and-for-all cut spending, repeal Obamacare and withdraw federal encroachment into state decision-making and personal liberties," Perry said in a statement.
Obama's victory opened up political possibilities for Perry, who was briefly the front runner in the Republican presidential primary but flamed out with a series of embarrassing gaffes — including his infamous "oops moment," when he forgot the third federal department he had promised to eliminate if elected.
Perry, who became governor when George W. Bush left for the White House in 2000, is mulling another run for governor in 2014. But he also hasn't ruled out another presidential campaign two years after that — and didn't miss the chance to hit the Obama administration.
"The American people have given President Obama a chance to start over," his statement said, suggesting that Obama "can put an end to his reckless disregard for our rule of law and spare our nation another long, painful and expensive four years."
Cruz replaces retiring Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. He will be the state's junior senator, behind Republican John Cornyn, who struck a far more conciliatory tone.
"It's clear that, with our losses in the presidential race, and a number of key Senate races, we have a period of reflection and recalibration ahead for the Republican Party," Cornyn said in a statement. He chaired the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which watched the Democrats pick up two seats in the chamber.
"While some will want to blame one wing of the party over the other, the reality is candidates from all corners of our GOP lost tonight," Cornyn said. "Clearly we have work to do in the weeks and months ahead."