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DALLAS – Republican Sen. Ted Cruz says when it comes to deciding on whether he’ll make another White House run, he’ll “want and see” what former President Donald Trump decides.
Cruz, the conservative firebrand from Texas and the runner-up to Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential nomination race, told Fox News on Friday that he and other potential 2024 presidential contenders will “wait and see what Donald Trump decides and then make decisions from there.”
Trump has been flirting with making another presidential run since leaving the White House a year and a half ago and recently appeared to give his strongest signal yet of his intentions. The former president seemed to indicate in a recent New York Magazine interview that his 2024 decision is about when — not if.
“I would say my big decision will be whether I go before or after,” Trump said in an interview published last month, seemingly referring to the midterm elections in November.
Former President Donald Trump applauds at a rally in support of Arizona GOP candidates in Prescott Valley, Arizona, on July 22, 2022. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Cruz has consistently not ruled out making another White House run, has stopped a handful of times over the past year in the early voting states in the GOP presidential nominating calendar — with more likely to come in the months ahead — and has told Fox News and other news organizations that “when I ran in ’16, it was the most fun I’ve had in my life.”
In his Friday interview — which took place moments after he addressed the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas — the senator gave another 2024 hint, once again emphasizing, “I am committed to fighting to save this country with every breath in my body. It is what I believe in.”
But Cruz also stressed that his top campaign mission the next three months is helping fellow Republicans in November’s midterm elections.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz delivers a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022. (Fox News Photo/Joshua Comins)
“My focus is on 2022. I’m spending practically every waking moment on the campaign trail, focusing on retaking the House and retaking the Senate,” Cruz said.
And, he predicted, “I think we’re gonna win both. I think we’re gonna see a Republican majority in the House. I think we’re gonna see a Republican majority in the Senate. And I hope and believe we’re going to see not just majorities, but strong new conservative leaders who are willing to stand and fight and deliver on their promises.”
Republicans have the political winds at their backs as they aim to win back the congressional majorities in both chambers in the midterms. But there are plenty of people in the GOP concerned that a potential Trump 2024 announcement before November could negatively impact the Republicans’ chances of regaining control of the House and Senate.
Asked whether he thought a Trump 2024 announcement would be damaging to the GOP, Cruz answered that the former president is “going to decide what he wants to do, and frankly, he’s going to decide on his own timeframe. He’s not going to listen to me. He’s not going to listen to anyone else. He’s going to decide when he damn well wants to, and the rest of the world will react accordingly.”
Paul Steinhauser is a politics reporter based in New Hampshire.