by Frank Holmes, reporter
He gave Donald Trump the strongest run for his money during the 2016 Republican presidential primaries — and now, he says, he’s thinking about challenging the ex-president to a rematch.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., told Newsmax TV that he is “considering” running for president in 2024, even if the 45th president throws his hat back in the ring.
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“Sure. I’m certainly looking at it,” he said.
“Whether it is in the Senate or whether it is in a presidential campaign, I am committed to fighting to defend free enterprise, to defend freedom, and defend the Constitution and Bill of Rights,” Cruz told the Newsmax program, “The Chris Salcedo Show.”
Is @tedcruz considering a 2024 presidential run? The Senator tells Newsmax: "I'm certainly looking at it… 2016 was the most fun I've ever had in my life. We came incredibly close." @Tom_Basile pic.twitter.com/pkvMJCOpki
— Newsmax (@newsmax) July 1, 2021
If Cruz gets back into the race for the West Wing, that could set up another confrontation with Donald Trump.
The former president hasn’t made any official announcement about his plans, but he has said very clearly that he plans to return to the White House.
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During his tour of the U.S.-Mexico border last week, Sean Hannity asked Trump point-blank, “Have you made up your mind yet” about a 2024 reelection bid?
Cruz may not so much spoiling for a fight against Trump — he may just really love being on the campaign trail.
“2016 was the most fun I’ve ever had in my life,” Cruz said.
“We came incredibly close” to winning the GOP nomination in 2016, he said last Thursday.
He seemed proud that his well-staffed, well-funded campaign “had an incredible grassroots army of 326,000 volunteers nationwide.”
Ted Cruz gave Donald Trump the toughest fight of the primary season. He shocked the GOP Establishment — which expected Jeb Bush to be the 2016 nominee — by winning the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses and setting himself up as the new front runner.
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He went on to win an impressive 11 state primaries or caucuses and rack up more than 7 million votes nationwide.
Cruz did so well that, even though he lost more than 40 contests, he kept winning delegates because of his lawyer-like knowledge of GOP party rules.
Cruz became so confident of victory, so confident that he went so far as to pick Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate in late April 2016 — even though he had no path to the nomination through the typical voting process. Fiorina endorsed Joe Biden about a month before the 2020 election.
The Republican Party elders leaked to the media that they were considering a plan to turn delegates to Cruz, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, or another more controllable candidate, but in the end Trump pulled out the nomination battle on the convention floor, and beat Kasich in his home state.
By the time Cruz bowed out, he had the second-highest delegate count—and he seems to think he could do better than second place in 2024.
He will definitely have company. In addition to President Trump, several other Republican leaders are said to be considering a run for the Oval Office in three years.
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On Sunday, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson hinted that he’s open to a White House bid in 2024.
“I want to be engaged for a national debate,” the governor — who is term-limited and can’t seek another gubernatorial term — told CNN. “It is important for the direction of our party and our country.”
“We’ll see what the future holds,” he concluded.
Hutchinson has little name recognition and unwisely picked a fight with his party’s base when he vetoed a bill requiring people to be at least 18 years old before having permanently body-altering transgender surgery.
He said a veto was the conservative position.
Former Vice President Mike Pence scheduled a visit to speak to Iowa’s conservative Christian group The Family Leader on July 16, possibly to test the strength of his own candidacy.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has regularly come in second behind former President Trump in Republican polls about 2024 — but the governor actually beat Trump in the poll of the Western Conservative Summit last month.
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Then there’s South Dakota Kristi Noem, who had been a Republican rising star, until she lost points with conservatives for backing down from her long-held position saying that women shouldn’t have to compete with biological men who say they are transgender. But she won some of them back by fighting back against President Joe Biden’s decision to cancel the Independence Day extravaganza at Mount Rushmore.
The Fourth of July is over, but the political fireworks are just starting.
Frank Holmes is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”