Cruz: I Will Take ‘High Road’ During Primary Fights When Things Get Ugly

Kerry Picket | Reporter

GREENVILLE, S.C. — As more Republicans begin to declare their candidacy for the presidency, the pressure is on to criticize one another’s qualifications to be the party nominee.

Presidential candidate Ted Cruz took a veiled shot at others vying for the White House in his party, when he gave remarks Saturday at the Citizen’s United Freedom Summit.

When asked at press conference later about his comments and if his campaign is getting ready to turn up the heat on the other candidates he said he will remain on the “high road.”

“I think there are some remarkable men and women who are looking at running for the presidency. These are people who I like and respect—senators, governors, people who are talented, people who are a new generation,” he said.”

Cruz said that the pool of candidates and potential candidates are going to have a “robust conversation” about where the country is going.

“Now as the election moves on, things may turn less than pleasant. Other candidates may choose to go into the gutter. I have no intention to reciprocate. So I will not engage in personal attacks. But I do think it’s perfectly legitimate to focus on records, to focus on issues, to focus on policy, to focus on vision. That’s
the meat of politics,” he said.

“And so it is perfectly fair to say if there are issues that matter to you. Whether it is religious liberty, whether it’s immigration, whether it’s common core , whether it’s restoring American leadership in the world, it’s important for others to look and ask each candidate ‘what is your record on that?'”

When asked by The Daily Caller if there was concern that the GOP nominee would come out of the primary too beaten up for a strong fight in the general, similar to Mitt Romney’s experience in 2012, he replied, “I understand that our friends in the media Love to see Republicans shoot each other. That makes for good newsprint when it gets nasty and personal, but I have no intention of going there.”

He explained, “That is not the appropriate way of approaching politics. I’m a big believer in Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment, ‘Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.’”

“Now to be clear, Reagan did not say ‘Thou shalt not have policy differences with another Republican.’ Remember, Ronald Reagan primaried Gerald Ford — a sitting Republican president in ‘76 and almost beat him. So I think it’s integral to the political process to have a debate about what we stand for.”

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