Rep. Peter King said Friday that Ted Cruz was "making too much" of assurances by Donald Trump's convention manager than he planned to tone down his "persona" in trying to improve his relationship with Republican Party officials.
"I'm not endorsing Donald Trump and Ted Cruz is making too much of this," the New York Republican said at the outset of an interview with Brianna Keilar on CNN.
"The real issue is, is Donald Trump going to be able to fill in the gaps?
"Is he going to be able to show that he understands policy and knows what is going on in the Middle East and knows what is happening with healthcare?
"He has to start filling it in with substance — and that's going to be the challenge," King said. "If he can do that, that's one thing."
Cruz slammed Trump's campaign Friday after comments by Paul Manafort, who told Republicans meeting in Florida that the billionaire would take a new tack in the race for the presidential nomination.
"They've gone down and told Republican Party bosses that everything Donald has said on the campaign is just a show," Cruz said, The Washington Times reports.
"He doesn't believe any of it.
"He's not going to build a wall. He's not going to deport anyone. This is just a lie."
Manafort told the GOP meeting in Hollywood, Fla., that, "when he's out on the stage, when he's talking about the kinds of things he's talking about on the stump, he's projecting an image that's for that purpose.
"He gets it," he added. "The part that he's been playing is evolving into the part that now you've been expecting, but he wasn't ready for, because he had first to complete the first phase.
"The negatives will come down. The image is going to change."
King, who has consistently bashed Cruz throughout the campaign, told CNN that "there's always a change in tone when you go from a primary to a general election. I'm not concerned about that.
"My concern is, can he fill in the gaps and show that he knows what he's talking about," he said of Trump.
"I understand what Paul Manafort is doing," he added. "You expect him to bring the party together, but he has to do that without compromising his principles."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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