“We’ve got a lot of time until this election — two months until the convention, six months until the general election — and I’m going to be doing what I expect many voters will be doing, which is watching and listening to what the candidates have to say, to what they stand for, to how they conduct themselves,” Cruz told The Texas Tribune in an interview before his speech here to the Texas GOP convention.
Speaking from a 20th-floor suite overlooking downtown Dallas, a soft-spoken Cruz was more introspective than usual as he reflected on the race and its fallout. Looking back on his campaign, he denied any complicity in Trump’s success, a charge leveled by other Republicans after Cruz’s early embrace of the Manhattan developer.
“It’s not my role to direct other people as to how they should vote,” he said. “Each of us has to make that decision on their own.”
“I recognize that Donald is like catnip to reporters, but I don’t have anything else to say about Donald Trump,” Cruz said, emphasizing he was focused on thanking supporters at the convention.
Since Cruz’s exit from the race, he has nonetheless trained some fire on what he sees as Trump’s enablers in the media, perhaps most notably Fox News. Asked about that cable news network in a recent radio interview, Cruz said “there were more than a few players who played a disproportionate role” in Trump’s rise.
The statement evoked memories of Cruz’s own early approach to dealing with Trump: effusively praising him while other candidates struggled to tear him down. On Saturday, however, Cruz flatly denied he had a role in Trump’s success.
“Not remotely,” Cruz said, laughing, “although I recognize that is a media narrative that is delicious for some to push.”
Cruz then turned serious, saying, “Nobody stood and fought harder, more effectively and for longer, to prevent where we are now than I did.”
He reflected on how he was among the last men standing against Trump, and how Trump’s celebrity dramatically reshaped the trajectory of the contest.
“This primary election, despite my very best efforts, didn’t hinge on policy,” Cruz said. “It didn’t hinge on any particular policy position, rather it was decided on other factors.”
Cruz also confirmed his campaign is making a serious effort to protect the GOP platform from changes that Trump has floated.
“There are more than a few forces who would love to see the platform watered down, to make it more like the Democratic platform,” Cruz said. Doing so, he added, “would be a profound disservice to Republicans across the country, and so I’m working to ensure that we have strong conservatives and that our platform reflects what we believe as a people.”
“I think it is important that the Republican Party remain a conservative party, that we stand for principles and values that we not become neither hot nor cold but simply lukewarm,” Cruz said, “and I’m going to do everything I can to empower and motivate courageous conservatives across the country to ensure that that’s the case.”
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.