Sen. Ted Cruz, the runner-up to Donald Trump in the bruising 2016 Republican presidential primary, revealed Thursday that he wants to someday mount another White House campaign.
“Look, I hope to run again,” the Texas lawmaker told The Christian Science Monitor. “We came very, very close in 2016. And it’s the most fun I’ve ever had in my life.”
Story Continued Below
Cruz sparred viciously with Trump during the GOP’s previous nominating contest. Trump memorably threatened and shared online an unflattering photo of Cruz’s wife, and promulgated an unfounded conspiracy theory linking Cruz’s father to former President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
Cruz achieved the second-most delegates at the party’s July 2016 convention in Cleveland, where a contingent of his supporters attempted to derail Trump’s nomination and disrupted the proceedings. Cruz also declined to endorse Trump in a prime-time speech, instead imploring Republicans to “vote your conscience.” The speech was met with a chorus of boos from the convention floor.
But Cruz two months later announced he would be voting for Trump in the general election against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and has emerged in the three years since as a staunch conservative ally of the president’s in Congress.
Cruz won re-election to the Senate in 2018, vanquishing former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke in a race that garnered significant national attention and vaulted O’Rourke into the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.
Cruz’s relatively narrow victory over O’Rourke exacerbated fears among Republicans that the state could transform into a potential battleground in the upcoming election cycle, both in the presidential contest and in GOP Sen. John Cornyn’s bid for reelection to a fourth term.
“Texas is going to be hotly contested in 2020,” Cruz said on Thursday. “I believe the president will win Texas. I think it will be closer than last time.”