Politics

Rep. McCaul Will Not Rule Out Primary Challenge to Cruz

House GOP Homeland Security chair says it's 'unconscionable' for Republicans to sit 'on the sidelines'

Republican Texas Rep. Mike McCaul criticized high-profile NeverTrumpers for their desire to “get attention” by putting themselves above their country’s best interests during a Tuesday interview on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

McCaul, the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, told LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham that his growing concerns over U.S. national security and his desire to promote the country’s best interests compel him to support Donald Trump “because I’m putting the country first above myself, and that’s what’s important right now to me.”

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Speaking specifically of former Trump rivals Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, among others, McCaul chastised them for their selfishness.

“They just want attention. I just think they want attention,” McCaul said. “I mean look — [Trump] may have not been the first choice for some people, but he’s our nominee. He’s good on business, he’s good on regulations, he’s pro-military. The Supreme Court is at stake, and you got people like John Kasich who’s trying to skew Ohio, and others really just because they want to — I think they just really want to get attention. And it’s not good for the country at the end of the day, you know?”

McCaul said there should be a “high price to be paid” by the likes of Kasich and Cruz.

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McCaul made specific mention of Cruz’s stunt at the Republican National Convention in July when the Texas senator used his speech to urge voters to “vote their conscience” come November. And McCaul wasn’t having any of that.

“And we saw it happen at the convention when the speech was given, ‘vote your conscience,’ and all that stuff, you know?” McCaul said. “I’m actually very angry about this because to me the choice is clear. And I’m going to do everything I can to try and unify this party and prevent [Hillary Clinton] from being in the White House again.”

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McCaul added that he thought what Cruz said at the RNC “turned off a lot of people” because Cruz essentially broke the pledge that he and all the other Republican candidates promised to fulfill if they lost the primaries: support the party’s nominee.

“I mean, [Cruz] pledged to support him. He broke his word, you know, what he said in terms of not supporting the nominee,” McCaul said.

McCaul also didn’t rule out a primary challenge for Cruz’s Senate seat, although he emphasized that all the external threats facing the country — as well as the internal ones coming from Clinton herself — compel him focus on the more important issues at stake. Urging all Republicans to put the country’s best interests above their own personal desires, McCaul made his case for supporting Trump.

“That’s why, Laura, I’m not one of these Republicans sitting on the sidelines throwing barbs and criticizing the nominee — because I think it’s imperative that we unify behind him,” McCaul said. “The idea that these Republicans will sit on the sidelines and allow Hillary Clinton to become the next president of the United States is unconscionable to me. And I think a high price will be paid for those Republicans who did that and were complicit with her becoming the commander-in-chief.”

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