Texas Senator Ted Cruz claims that he hasn’t yet given up on his dreams of becoming president, Newsweek reports. The 48-year-old claims that while he will not likely run in 2020, he still plans to run again in the future. According to experts, he is likely eyeing a 2024 run.
“Look, I hope to run again,” he said following a Christian Science Monitor (CSM) breakfast. “We came very, very close in 2016. And it’s the most fun I’ve ever had in my life.”
Although Cruz didn’t outright say he would be running for president in 2024, he will be up for a third Senate term in 2024, which would make the timing ideal. According to Rice University’s Mark Jones, Cruz is almost definitely considering a 2024 presidential bid.
“I don’t think there is any question that Ted Cruz is seriously contemplating a 2024 presidential bid. And, at present, one way to lay the groundwork for a 2024 bid is to differentiate himself from President Trump on issues where Trump has taken a more centrist position than many in the GOP base are comfortable with.”
Professor Brandon Rottinghaus at the University of Houston agrees. He believes that Cruz is “recasting himself” to make a move and plans to be a “voice in the darkness” for Republicans that are wary of the current path of the GOP under Donald Trump. But Southern Methodist University professor Cal Jillson highlights that while Cruz is “smart” to get a start on his bid now, he also has to be careful not to agitate Trump, who notoriously doesn’t take kindly to people that take away his spotlight.
Cruz recently endorsed Republican New Hampshire Senate candidate Bill O’Brien, praising him as a “principled conservative” focused on results. The Texas Senator’s endorsement sparked conversation as it came just as longtime Trump ally Corey Lewandowski teased a Senate run in New Hampshire. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) reportedly has all of Lewandowski’s necessary paperwork, as he made an appearance on Fox News where he suggested he will soon announce whether he will move forward in the state’s Senate race.
Given that Jillson believes Cruz must be careful to avoid clashing with Trump, his endorsement of O’Brien over Lewandowski could pose trouble in the future.
In another headline-catching Cruz event, the Texas Senator met with actress and outspoken gun reform activist Alyssa Milano. During the conversation, the pair discussed the issue of gun control, Milano revealed that she owns guns in her home for self-defense, and Cruz continued to suggest that gun registries and buyback programs will pave the way for full-on gun confiscation. Although Cruz didn’t agree with Milano, the liberal activist later spoke positively of the discussion said that she thought he was “gracious.”