Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), one of the last candidates to drop out of the pool of Republican presidential hopefuls in 2016 and the runner-up to Donald Trump, still has his eye on the White House.
In a Thursday breakfast discussion with The Christian Science Monitor, the senator revealed he may one day throw his hat back in the ring.
“Look, I hope to run again,” he said. “We came very, very close in 2016. And it’s the most fun I’ve ever had in my life.”
“The great thing is, every issue I was fighting for in the presidential campaign is front and center in the Senate,” he added.
During the 2016 race, Trump infamously insulted Cruz as “lyin’ Ted,” propagated an evidence-free conspiracy theory that his father, Rafael, was involved in President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and denigrated the senator’s wife on Twitter, threatening to “spill the beans” on her.
Cruz, who was one of 17 candidates vying for the nomination, managed to earn the support of more than 7 million voters during his campaign, exiting the race in May 2016. One day later, former Ohio Gov. John Kasich followed suit, leaving Trump the presumptive nominee.
Backing away from an endorsement of Trump, Cruz was met with a chorus of boos at the Republican National Convention months before the election, when he told conservatives to “vote your conscience.”
However, Cruz eventually announced he would vote for Trump.
In 2018, Cruz was narrowly reelected to his Senate seat, beating out former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who is now jockeying for the presidency alongside 19 other Democrats.
As Trump now gears up for 2020, Cruz told the Monitor his state would be a “battleground.”
“Texas is going to be hotly contested in 2020,” he said. “I believe the president will win Texas. I think it will be closer than last time.”
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