LAS VEGAS, Nevada — He has repeatedly flirted with running for the White House again, but Senator Ted Cruz said Saturday he is running for Senate reelection in 2024.
But Cruz, answering questions from reporters at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, did not rule out the possibility of a presidential campaign.
“I fight in the Senate. I’m running for re-election in the Senate. My focus is on the struggles in the United States Senate,” the conservative Texas senator said when answering a question from Fox News about whether he would run for president or re-election in 2024.
But Cruz did not rule out a presidential candidacy in a follow-up question. When asked if he should no longer be considered a potential White House contender, Cruz replied, “I’m focused on the fight. … There will be plenty of time to discuss the 2024 presidential election, they will have plenty of time.”
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Minutes earlier, in front of the crowd at the RJC conference, Cruz had touted his Senate reelection website and asked donors and activists in the audience to go to Ted.Cruz.org to contribute to the Senate reelection campaign.
Cruz ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, finishing second in the main contest behind former President Donald Trump.
In the past two years, the senator has consistently not ruled out another candidacy for the White House. And as he criss-crossed the country during the 2022 cycle on behalf of Republicans running in the midterm elections, he stopped a few times in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, the top four states on the United States’ nomination calendar GOP presidents voted. And Cruz told Fox News and other news organizations, “When I ran 16, it was the most fun I’ve had in my life.”
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Trump on Tuesday continued a year and a half of flirting and launched a 2024 presidential campaign.
“There are people who want him to do that. There are some who don’t. I think this process will get out of hand. We’ve seen quite a few people here at this conference who have clearly positioned themselves to go up against him. I don’t think he will go unchallenged. I think there will be candidates going against him,” Cruz said. “But we are still very early in this process. There is a lot of time for the debates and discussions.”
Trump was heavily criticized by some Republicans for violating the GOP in the interim period, when the GOP failed to win a Senate majority, lost key gubernatorial races, and secured a razor-thin majority in the House of Representatives — disappointing GOP expectations for a “red wave.” Choice.
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Some point to the former president who has backed MAGA-style far-right candidates — who backed Trump’s unproven claims that the 2020 election was stolen — who won the GOP primaries but ended up losing in high-profile showdowns in the general election.
There are a lot of people pointing the finger at Donald Trump and wanting to point out the quality of the candidates,” Cruz said.
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“The quality of the candidates counts. I’m going to say some of the nominees, especially some of the gubernatorial nominees who have had next to no fundraising, no TV ads, and no real campaigning, dammit, this is serious business,” Cruz said. “If you can’t raise money and run a campaign, step aside and let the adults do the work that needs to be done. That’s why I get frustrated when my party puts forward candidates who don’t have a realistic chance of success.”