Tags: Trump Administration | Donald Trump | GOP2016 | Ted Cruz | Rence Priebus | Ted Cruz | Endorsement

Priebus on Cruz's Change of Heart: 'My Comments Weren't a Threat'

By    |   Sunday, 25 September 2016 05:46 PM

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Sunday he's "very grateful" to Sen. Ted Cruz for agreeing to endorse Donald Trump, but he doesn't think his own comments a week ago had anything to do with the former presidential candidate's change of heart.

"My comments weren't a threat," Priebus told Fox News' Neil Cavuto Sunday afternoon. "Just basically, look, folks have given their word and, in some cases, in multiple documents, not just a pledge but a date-exchange agreement. Some haven't signed it, some have."

Last week, though, Priebus told CBS' "Face the Nation" that it was time for Trump's former primary rivals to support his campaign, or face trouble from the party in 2020 or 2024 if they refuse.

"Those people need to get on board,” he told the program last Sunday. “And if they’re thinking they’re going to run again someday, I think that we’re going to evaluate the process – of the nomination process and I don’t think it’s going to be that easy for them.”

On Friday, just days after Priebus' statement, Cruz agreed to support Trump. Just two other ex-GOP nominees, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, are still refusing to endorse Trump.

"I'm grateful for Sen. Cruz because he also laid out a very thoughtful position as to why he supports Donald Trump for president," Priebus said.

Cruz took a long time before he agreed to endorse Trump, however, and rattled delegates at the Republican National Convention this summer when he delivered a speech but refused to endorse the nominee.

"We had a pretty bruising primary," Priebus said Sunday. "The bruises you have sometimes it takes longer to heal. I think it's pretty obvious."

He said he does not know, though, if Cruz, like others who have endorsed Trump, will hit the campaign trail with him.

"Right now I think all hands are on deck here and I'm sure that Donald Trump is mostly concerned right now in the debate tomorrow night and he's working hard and he'll be great," said the chairman.

Meanwhile, the primary debates featured contentious arguments between the candidates, but Priebus predicted the debate between Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton will be "more subdued."

He also said he believes Clinton will be held at a high performance bar, as "she's been doing this for over two decades," but he also thinks Trump will "be great."

"I think the electorate wants to change candidates," said Priebus. "They don't want the status quo but with being the person that's made their entire living off of politics, she's going to have to perform at the highest level that we have ever seen."

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Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Sunday he's "very grateful" to Sen. Ted Cruz for agreeing to endorse Donald Trump, but he doesn't think his own comments a week ago had anything to do with the former presidential candidate's change of heart. "My...
Rence Priebus, Ted Cruz, Endorsement, Threat
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2016-46-25
Sunday, 25 September 2016 05:46 PM
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