Texas Senator Ted Cruz has confirmed that he still wants the presidency and may run again in 2024, with one condition. Cruz says that he will not run if Donald Trump is in the race again. Like the rest of the party, the senator is waiting to see what Trump does before he commits to anything. Polls have consistently shown that Trump will have a massive lead over all other prospective GOP candidates should he seek to return to the White House.
Potential candidates waiting for Trump to decide
Anything can happen between now and the end of 2024, a fact which Cruz and other potential candidates are well aware of.
For now Trump appears to be leaning towards running again. The former president appears to be in good health and is certainly energetic enough to campaign, but any number of factors could emerge to prevent him from running again.
If Trump does not run then he can safely play the role of kingmaker for the GOP, something which his efforts to unseat hostile Republicans in 2022 may preview.
In this scenario, Cruz might benefit from the fact that he has already promised to not challenge Trump. That pledge both compliments Trump and recognizes the reality of his continuing hold over the party.
His opponents would be equally committed to courting Trump in this scenario; the former president’s endorsement might effectively decide the race before a single vote is even cast.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley all appear to have presidential ambitions in addition to Cruz.
Cruz wants to run again
DeSantis appears to be the strong favorite in a race without Trump, but Cruz does have some justification for believing that he could be a strong competitor.
The Texas senator was Trump’s most successful opponent in the bitterly contested 2016 primaries. Since then he has largely tried to stick close to Trump and his base.
Unfortunately for Cruz, most current polls place him far behind DeSantis. The Florida governor might also have an easier time courting the Trump endorsement.
The senator has been widely criticized for describing January 6 as a terrorist attack on the first anniversary, among other occasions. He attempted to apologize and correct his remarks, but the damage may have already been done in the eyes of most Trump supporters.
A source close to Cruz reportedly told NBC that they are “quite certain he will run” if Trump decides to stay out of the race. The senator has made no secret of the fact that he still wants to win the White House.
He will have a lot of work to do in the time remaining if he wants to convince Republican voters to support him, and that’s only if Trump stays out, which seems increasingly unlikely. Still, the 2024 election is almost three years away, and the political scene can change rapidly.