Ted Cruz pointedly said on Tuesday that he does not trust Donald Trump to lead the country.
“Frankly, I’m not willing to gamble my daughters’ futures with Donald Trump,” Cruz told reporters after a campaign event in Minden, Nevada – just hours before the state’s caucuses.
“The truth of the matter is if Donald Trump became president, nobody knows what the heck he would do,” Cruz continued.
“He doesn’t know what the heck he would do,” Cruz added.
Cruz also notably ignored a reporter’s question of whether he still respects Donald Trump. Cruz – for months – would tell crowds and reporters that he “liked” and “respected” Trump, but in recent weeks, Cruz has yielded in sharing his “respect” for the front runner.
With just a week until Super Tuesday, where 12 states including his home state of Texas vote, Cruz laid out his view on the stakes of the Republican primary in the clearest way yet.
“I understand it’s been entertaining. It’s been fun seeing the show,” Cruz said. “But the stakes are serious. I mean, we’re talking about the future of our country. This is not a game. It’s not a joke.”
Cruz, seemingly relaxed ahead of a week that many view as imperative to his viability for the nomination, also called out a perceived double standard that Trump’s and Marco Rubio’s campaigns have been operating under. On Monday, Cruz asked for the resignation of his communications director after he posted a misleading video of Marco Rubio online.
“There is no doubt that other campaigns have been engaging in a consistent pattern of fabrications,” Cruz vented.
The Texas senator questioned the Trump campaign’s response to pushing out a made-up quote by retired U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, where the senator allegedly called Cruz “dishonest.”
“There’s been no apology from the Trump campaign,” Cruz said. “There’s been no one fired or held accountable.”
Cruz continued that the “same is true with the Rubio campaign, where they raise false charge after false charge.” He specifically targeted the Rubio’s accusation that the Cruz campaign set up a fake Facebook page and sent out robocalls in South Carolina meant to smear the Florida senator. There is yet to be proof that either of those instances were directed by the Cruz campaign.
Cruz has also faced questions this week over his own ability to win his home state of Texas next Tuesday – and the consequences of a potential loss there. Cruz suggested he believes the “tremendous base of support” will carry him in the Lone Star State.
“We’ve worked a long time to earn that support,” Cruz said. “And I hope and believe that that support will come out and manifest on election night.”