‘The runner-up is almost always the next nominee’: Cruz says he’s well-positioned for 2024

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Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday argued he is particularly well-positioned to win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, citing his second-place finish behind then-candidate Donald Trump in the party’s 2016 primary.

The remarks from Cruz (R-Texas) came in an interview with The Truth Gazette, a conservative news service operated by 15-year-old Brilyn Hollyhand. Asked by Hollyhand whether he would consider launching another bid for the White House, Cruz responded: “Absolutely. In a heartbeat.”

“You know, I ran in 2016. It was the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. We had a very crowded field. We had 17 candidates in the race — a very strong field. And I ended up placing second” Cruz said.

“You know, there’s a reason historically that the runner-up is almost always the next nominee,” Cruz continued. “And that’s been true going back to Nixon or Reagan or McCain or Romney that has played out repeatedly. You come in with just an enormous base of support.”

Cruz achieved the second-most delegates at the Republican Party’s 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 address, instead imploring Republicans to “vote your conscience.” The speech was met with a chorus of boos from the convention floor.

Cruz had sparred viciously with Trump during the 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 President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

But two months after the Republican convention, Cruz announced he would be voting for Trump in the general election against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Cruz has emerged in the years since as a staunch ally of the president in Congress, and he was one of the Republican lawmakers who led the effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election on Jan. 6.

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