Conservative radio host Glenn Beck had a tense interview with Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday morning, going so far as to say he should have backed Sen. Marco Rubio over Cruz during the Republican presidential primary.
Beck said Friday that he was “profoundly sad” that Cruz, who was booed after he didn’t endorse GOP nominee Donald Trump during the Republican National Convention, reversed course and announced his support for Trump last week.
On Monday, Beck sought to find out why the conservative Texas senator changed his mind about someone who had made fun his wife’s appearance and suggested his father had something to do with the assassination of President Kennedy.
“Hillary Clinton has done nothing to change your mind — or mine — that she is fit to be president of the United States,” Beck said. “However, this weekend, you wouldn’t answer the question of whether Donald Trump was fit to be president of the United States.”
“What I said is this is a binary choice,” Cruz replied. “I wish it were not a binary choice. As you know, I tried very, very hard, as did you, to prevent it from being a binary choice between Hillary and Donald Trump, and I think it is fair to say there was no other Republican candidate who left more on the field and did more to stop Donald from being the nominee than I did, but the voters made a different decision and you have to respect the democratic process even if you may not be terribly happy with the outcome.”
“Do you have new information that has made you say, ‘Oh my gosh, he’s now not a sociopathic liar, he is not the guy that I spelled out eloquently for over a year, and now suddenly there’s a reason to believe him?” Beck asked.
After continued pressure, Cruz said that what changed his mind was Trump’s commitment to select Supreme Court justices from a list of candidates that was finalized last week. The list, which included Cruz’s friend Sen. Mike Lee, drew praise from conservatives.
“The Trump campaign put out a list of potential Supreme Court nominees and I think, to me, critically committed that the only nominees he would consider for the court were on that list. Now that was a major shift,” Cruz said. He added that “the fact that he is publicly promising, ‘I will nominate from these 21,’ I think creates a dynamic where compared to [Democratic nominee] Hillary [Clinton], who is promising to put left-wing ideologues, that’s a clear choice.”
Following the interview, Beck said this was the first time he heard Cruz give calculated answers.
“The interview pissed me off,” Beck lamented. “That was so calculated that it was stunning to me.”
He said it was his own fault for believing that Cruz could be the next “George Washington.”
Beck said he should have thrown his support behind Rubio during the primaries.
“I should have said, ‘You know who can win? You know who can beat Hillary Clinton? Marco Rubio,’” Beck said, adding, “I may disagree with him on the Gang of Eight [immigration bill], but there’s about 80 percent that I do agree with him on, and he’s kind of a politician, but he’s a different kind of politician. He’s a Hispanic, he can win — let’s go for it.”
Referring to Cruz, he said, “To become the politician is disappointing. Really disappointing. … He’s still a good man, he’s just a politician first.”
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