Politics

Bitter Cruz Risks Being Left in the GOP’s ‘Rear-View Mirror’

Former campaign chair for Texas senator 'disappointed' in refusal to back Trump

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz could be left “in the rear-view mirror of the Republican Party” if he continues to resist endorsing Donald Trump, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Monday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

Though Patrick was once chair of the Cruz campaign in Texas, he said he always planned to back the GOP nominee.

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“It’s time for this to unify, come together, and stop Hillary Clinton from turning over the Supreme Court to liberals and letting hundreds of thousands of people come into this country illegally,” Patrick told LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham.

Cruz faced a torrent of criticism for bypassing the opportunity to back Trump in his speech at the Republican National Convention in July. Instead, Cruz urged the thousands of assembled Republicans to vote their conscience — whether or not that means casting a ballot for Trump. Cruz has largely gone silent on the 2016 contest since the incident, but critics warn he cannot continue to sit out the election.

Patrick, who referred to Cruz as a “friend,” recently began speaking out against Cruz’s decision not to back Trump. Patrick said that though he’s “loyal” his friend, he is “disappointed” at Cruz’s continued resistance.

“I’m hoping there’s still time for [Cruz] to come forward or I think he and all the other people you named will be left in the rear-view mirror of the Republican Party moving forward. So I’m hoping Ted comes forward. I’m visiting with him on that issue, of course.”

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Patrick said in statement Friday his “primary goal is to unite our party in Texas.”

“I want to ensure a solid Trump win and to remind Republican voters, and the new Trump voters who came out in the primary, to support the entire Republican ticket from the White House to the courthouse,” Patrick said.

The criticism of Cruz from his former Texas campaign chair came the day after Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus issued a warning to 2016 GOP contenders that are not supporting Trump about their future political prospects.

“People who agreed to support the nominee, that took part in our process, they used tools from the RNC … Those people need to get on board,” Priebus said Sunday on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”

“If they’re thinking they’re going to run again someday, I think we’re going to evaluate our process, the nomination process,” Priebus said, “I don’t think it’s going to be that easy for them.”

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