ABC News(NEW YORK) — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, reflecting on his Republican primary fight against now President-elect Donald Trump, emphasized that he wants to help the incoming administration succeed but did not disown his claim during the campaign that Trump was a “pathological liar.”
ABC News’ Martha Raddatz asked Cruz Sunday on This Week about his remark during the GOP primary that Trump “lies” with “practically every word” out of his mouth and is “utterly amoral.”
Asked about those comments, Cruz said, “I’m not going to re-litigate the past. I’m going to focus on the future. I’m going to focus on what’s in front of us.”
“It was a hard-fought campaign,” Cruz said of the primary race. “It was hard-fought on all sides and it was vigorous until the end. But at the end of the day, the people have spoken. He won the election. He won the nomination and he won the general election in convincing manner. And my focus is on the country. My focus is we have a new president. We have a mandate,” Cruz said.
Cruz ended his presidential bid May 3 and has taken steps to mend a relationship with Trump. He ultimately endorsed the Trump-Pence ticket and campaigned for them. Last week, he met in Trump Tower with the president-elect and some speculated he was on the short list to be Trump’s pick for attorney general. Trump ultimately chose Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions.
Cruz told Raddatz that he is committed to helping the Trump administration.
But the Texas senator cautioned that with Republicans about to control both the White House and Congress, they must deliver on their promises to voters or “there’ll be pitchforks and torches in the street.”
“What I’m going to work to do every day is to try to work closely with the new president, with the new administration and with my colleagues in Congress to deliver on what we promised. I’ve got to say, if we don’t, if we’re given the White House and both houses of Congress and we don’t deliver, I think there’ll be pitchforks and torches in the street, and I think quite rightly,” he said.
“This election was a mandate [for] change and the most catastrophic thing Republicans could do is go back to business as usual,” Cruz said.
Cruz called Trump’s picks so far for top administration posts an “impressive, serious team.”
Asked if former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani or former GOP presidential nominee and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would be a better secretary of state, Cruz praised both.
“That’s a question for the president-elect to decide. Obviously, whoever he nominates is going to be subject to confirmation in the Senate, and we’re going to consider fairly any nominee who comes forth. I think both Rudy and Mitt are good capable serious men. I know them both. I respect them both, and I think the fact that we are talking about two individuals of that caliber really reflects what we’re seeing in the Trump administration which is this is a team of all stars that are coming together,” Cruz said.
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