Donald Trump’s view of [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore]’s political future may be grimmer than he lets on in public.
On the night Trump all but clinched the Republican nomination, he spoke magnanimously of the Texas senator.
“You know, we started off with that 17 number and just so you understand Ted Cruz, I don’t know if he likes me or if he doesn’t like me, but he is one hell of a competitor,” Trump said in his victory speech from Trump Tower after winning Indiana’s Republican primary on May 3, forcing Cruz to withdraw from the race.
“He is a tough, smart guy and he has got an amazing future,” he added.
But in private, Trump expressed a different view of Cruz’s future, according to a New York Times Magazine profile of Trump and his inner circle. A day before his impressive victory in Indiana, Trump was on his plane watching Fox News pundits discuss Cruz’s political future on television.
“Standing in front of the oversize screen, Trump scoffed: ‘I don’t think he has much of a future,'” the Times reported.
Trump’s about face on Cruz’s political future 24-hours later may have been an attempt by the then presumptive GOP nominee to unite the party by coaxing Cruz, whose wife and father Trump harshly criticized during the campaign, into putting the brutal primary behind him and endorsing Trump. If so, Trump’s efforts to get Cruz to jump aboard the Trump Train have not been a tremendous success as of yet.
“We’ve got a lot of time until this election — two months until the convention, six months until the general election — and I’m going to be doing what I expect many voters will be doing, which is watching and listening to what the candidates have to say, to what they stand for, to how they conduct themselves,” Cruz told The Texas Tribune last weekend when asked whether he intended to endorse Trump.
In the meantime, Cruz is trying to forge ahead with the political future Trump doesn’t think he has. Last week, Cruz filed paperwork to run for re-election to his Senate seat in 2018. He also alluded to a 2020 presidential run in his interview with the Tribune.
“Time will tell,” Cruz said of another run.