- NBC News
Sen. Ted Cruz wouldn’t answer whether he would support Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump if Trump captures the party’s nomination – even when the question was posed to him nine times in a row on Sunday.
During a “Meet The Press” interview, moderator Chuck Todd pressed Cruz repeatedly to answer whether he would support Trump should the real-estate mogul become the Republican presidential nominee.
“I’m going to beat him,” Cruz said after Todd pressed him to answer.
Trump’s sizable delegate lead has made it mathematically impossible for Cruz and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio to capture the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination during the first rounding of voting at the Republican National Convention in July. Still, both campaigns are fighting to deny Trump the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination.
When the Texas senator asserted that members of the media wanted him to “surrender to Donald Trump,” Todd pushed back.
“It’s not about the media,” Todd said. “Senator, it’s about the numbers. Republican voters are the ones rejecting you. It’s not a media conspiracy.”
“Well, actually, with all due respect, the media has given 2 billion [dollars] in free advertising to Donald,” Cruz shot back, an apparent reference to a New York Times report that delved into Trump’s free media exposure.
Throughout the interview, the Texas senator maintained that Todd’s line of questioning was an irrelevant media conspiracy perpetuated by “partisan Democrats” in the media.
Still, Todd relentlessly pressed Cruz to answer.
“Why won’t you answer this question straightforward, black and white?” Todd said.
“I am going to beat Donald Trump, and we are going to a contested convention,” Cruz said.
“All right, so let the record show, you have not taken a position on whether you can support Donald Trump if he’s the nominee,” Todd said.
“And let the record show you tried very very hard to get me to commit to supporting Trump,” Cruz said.