While all polls show former President Donald Trump beating all other hypothetical GOP presidential primary contenders in 2024, one name that keeps appearing is Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
After a failed 2016 run, the constitutionalist Republican senator and attorney turned his focus to supporting Trump’s America First agenda – but he could be preparing for another shot at the White House.
Ted Cruz Basically Admitted It
Cruz is not shy about his political ambitions. In December last year, Cruz told The Truth Gazette that he would run for president in 2024 “in a heartbeat.”
“I ran in 2016, very strong field and I ended up placing second,” he said. “There’s a reason historically that the runner-up is almost always the next nominee.”
EXCLUSIVE: I asked Sen. @TedCruz if he would ever consider another run for President.
His response: “Absolutely, in a heartbeat. I ran in 2016…very strong field and I ended up placing 2nd.”
“…there’s a reason historically that the runner up is almost always the next nominee.” pic.twitter.com/5U3EhkqgXp
— The Truth Gazette (@Truth_Gazette) December 22, 2021
Donald Trump v. Ted Cruz All Over Again
While Cruz may feel confident about a successful 2024 run, he also appears to be very conscious of the grip that former President Donald Trump still has over the GOP. After labeling the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill in 2020 a “terrorist” incident, the Texas senator soon walked back his comment and said his use of the term was “sloppy” and “frankly dumb.”
Cruz received a grilling from populist news anchor Tucker Carlson who accused him of having “told that lie on purpose.”
If Cruz is to win in 2024, he’ll need to maintain the support of President Donald Trump’s base, while also making a convincing pitch that the former president is not the right candidate for the job this time around.
Should former President Trump officially announce a third bid for the White House – and there are many reasons to believe he will – the two candidates will need to decide whether or not to return to 2016 talking points and hostility.
Trump famously branded Cruz “Lyin’ Ted” throughout the campaign, only to welcome Cruz on board his Make America Great Again agenda after winning the presidency.
Towards the end of the 2016 primary race, Cruz broke convention and announced former HP CEO Trump critic Carly Fiorina as his running mate in the hope of snagging the Republican nomination. He also branded Trump a “narcissist,” “serial philanderer,” and a “pathological liar.”
Following a bitter 2016 feud, Ted Cruz enjoyed the support of Trump voters throughout his presidency. A 2024 bid, however, could put that support in jeopardy and ultimately lose him the nomination in 2028 or beyond.
As it stands, however, Ted Cruz has many hurdles to beat. One poll from Morning Consult shows Cruz with as little as 2% support among GOP voters.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and report on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.