Ted Cruz Expects Two-Person Race With Trump After SEC Primary

Sen. Ted Cruz speaking to reporters during his campaign swing through Arkansas.
Credit Talk Business & Politics

Texas Senator Ted Cruz said the GOP Presidential field might well be a two-man race between Donald Trump and himself after Tuesday’s SEC primaries and that contender Marco Rubio should consider leaving the race if he doesn’t win a state in the upcoming 12-state primary.

Cruz, who is in Arkansas campaigning in central and Northwest Arkansas this weekend, says he’s a “proven conservative” whose policies will best contrast with Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in the fall.

With Tuesday’s SEC primary – and its nearly 600 delegates at stake – looming on the horizon, Cruz says Arkansas and Texas are very important to his performance on March 1, although he stopped short of predicting he’d win both states.

“We hope to do well here in Arkansas. We’re taking nothing for granted,” Cruz said in an exclusive one-on-one with Talk Business & Politics Roby Brock. “I think we will do very well in Texas. Texas is my home. We have a tremendous amount of support there. But again, I’m taking nothing for granted.”

Currently, Trump has 82 delegates to 17 for Cruz and 16 for Rubio. On Super Tuesday, 624 delegates are up for grabs among 12 states with 1,237 needed to win the Republican Presidential nomination.

Cruz emphasized that he is the only Republican poised to knock out current GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.

“If you look at this race, there is only one campaign that has beaten Donald Trump and can beat Donald Trump and that’s our campaign,” Cruz said.

He hesitated to predict how many delegates he’ll pick up on Super Tuesday, but said history is already on his side.

“That’s up to the voters. I’m not going to give you a number,” he said. “I will tell you if you look at the first three states – Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina – nobody’s ever won the nomination without winning one of the first three states. This time, only two of us have done that – me and Donald Trump. And I think Super Tuesday, we’re going to do well, we’re going to win a lot of delegates – I think Donald Trump will win some delegates as well – and my guess is that coming out of Super Tuesday, Donald and I will be far and away the two major delegate leaders, and that will tee this up to be effectively a two-person race. And in a two person race, we not only win, we win handily.”

When asked if Rubio should exit the race if he performs poorly on March 1, Cruz said that would be a personal decision, but the handwriting might be on the proverbial wall.

“He’s [Rubio’s] going to have to decide that, but if Marco comes out of Super Tuesday winning very, very few delegates, it becomes hard to stay in the race without winning any states. To date, he has not won a single state and if that’s true after Tuesday, it’s going to be awfully difficult to justify. You can’t win the nomination if you can’t win any states,” Cruz said.

Cruz also discussed some personal topics in the interview including how he plays video games with his kids before debates, his parents’ cooking, favorite foods and how The Princess Bride is really a movie about politics. Watch the full interview below.