FederalIssuesCruz ‘Proud’ of Working With Trump as Former President Faces Uncertain Path to 2024 Nomination

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis overwhelmingly won reelection as Florida’s governor and could be a 2024 presidential candidate.
November 18, 2022
News of former President Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign found both ambivalence and support among Republicans in Texas.

The day before Trump launched his bid, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) indicated he would support the eventual Republican nominee. Though Cornyn did not mention Trump by name, he seemed hopeful Trump would have strong opponents, POLITICO reported.

Declining to back Trump’s campaign, Cornyn said, “No. I’m sure I’ll support the nominee of the Republican Party, but I think there’s likely to be a competitive primary election.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) discussed Trump’s announcement on his podcast this week, praising the former president for his legislative achievements.

“Joe Biden and the disaster of the last two years deserves mocking because it has been horrific, it’s hurt the American people, and all across the country people are suffering,” Cruz said, reacting to a clip of Trump’s speech.

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“I will say, when Donald Trump was president, we accomplished tremendous things together. I worked with him every day. I think I was his strongest ally in the U.S. Senate, and I’m really proud of the policy successes we had together in terms of peace and prosperity and people being lifted out of poverty into abundance.”

He added, “All of that is where we need to move back. We need to get back to a common sense agenda and away from the disasters of the last two years.”

Cruz’s comments are reminiscent of his 2016 strategy of not criticizing Trump until he became the main threat to Trump’s chances of winning the nomination.

While Cruz has been open about his presidential aspirations, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has become a kind of folk hero for conservatives after he pushed back against government restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has called Florida the “liberty outpost” of America.

DeSantis trounced Democratic nominee Charlie Crist in the race for Florida governor with 59 percent of the vote on Election Day.

In a poll conducted by CWS Research on November 12–13, 43 percent of likely Republican voters preferred DeSantis to be the GOP nominee as opposed to only 32 percent who supported Trump. Other candidates, including former Vice President Mike Pence, received the support of only five percent or less.

Attorney General Ken Paxton was among those who endorsed Trump after his announcement.

“Donald J. Trump’s efforts to secure our borders, project strength across the globe, expand economic opportunity, & protect our freedoms put our nation back on track,” Paxton tweeted. “I am proud to endorse his campaign for President so that he can once again put America First & heal our nation.”

Former Gov. Rick Perry — who recently reengaged in Texas politics as the spokesperson for an interest group supporting sports betting legalization — reportedly expressed indecision.

“I’m of the opinion that this will all sort itself out,” the former governor told The Texas Tribune at a conference this week.

“For me personally, it’s kind of like, show me what you got. Whether it’s Donald Trump, whether it’s DeSantis, whether it’s somebody that we haven’t seen yet.”

Perry was Trump’s secretary of energy from 2017 to 2019.


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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."