Actor Matthew McConaughey would be a "formidable candidate" for Texas governor, according to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, during a podcast interview Thursday.
McConaughey, a Lone Star State native, has said he's considering a run to unseat Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas. The actor, though, has not said to which party he belonged, and hasn't offered details about his political leanings.
"He's a very charming, very affable guy," Cruz said during an interview on "The Interview with Hugh Hewitt."
"He's a movie star, and a good-looking, charming, affable movie star can be a really formidable candidate on the ballot. And I hope that doesn't happen, but you know what? He's going to have to make his own decision whether he's going to run or not."
Cruz, whom Politico said is a self-described "big fan" of Abbot, said the governor is a "close friend and mentor." The senator also said he had met and liked McConaughey but did not know the actor well.
No Texas Democrat has held statewide office since 1998, and a Republican has lived in the Texas governor's mansion since George W. Bush defeated Democrat Ann Richards in 1994.
During an interview on March 10, McConaughey said was considering running for Texas governor.
"And I'm looking into now, what is my leadership role? Because I do think I have some things to teach and share," said McConaughey, a parent and professor at the University of Texas.
"What is my role, what is my category in my next chapter of life that I’m going into now?"
Host Rania Mankarious then asked whether his next step could involve a run for Texas governor. "It’s a true consideration," McConaughey replied.
Hewitt also asked Cruz about the 2024 elections, and whether the senator agreed that Republican debates needed to be decoupled from the left-leaning networks, so that center-right journalists can be moderators and questioners.
"Absolutely, emphatically agree. This is something I've been calling for for years," Cruz said. "There's a very simple rule that makes a lot of sense and would dramatically change these debates which is that I think anybody moderating a Republican primary debate in the presidential race should be somebody who intends to vote in the Republican primary.
"That is a mild, simple step."
Cruz cited the moderators and questioners in the 2020 Democrat debates.
"One hundred percent of those people voted in the Democratic primary," Cruz said. "They’re all liberal Democrats. So, you have liberal Democrats asking Democrats questions.
"I don’t know that for sure but I know they’re all wildly left. I know George Stephanopoulos was a senior aide of the Clinton White House and’s been a Democrat since he was on short shorts. Did I pull their voting records? No. But I know the people, and they’re all liberal Democrats."
Cruz said moderators who are Democratd have a clear motive during Republican debates.
"The Democrats who moderate Republican primary debates, they're objective is they want everybody on that stage to lose," Cruz said. "So their objective is, 'You’re all idiots, you’re all racists, you’re all imbeciles, you’re all horrible people. My objective is make sure the American people see how horrible you are so that the Democratic nominee wins.'"
Cruz added that two partisan moderators representing both parties should share the chores in presidential debates before the general election.
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