Cruz tries to sidestep 2016 question
July 21st, 2013
02:13 PM ET
9 months ago

Cruz tries to sidestep 2016 question

Updated 3:27 p.m. ET, 7/21

(CNN) – He’s not saying yes. He’s not saying no.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas danced around questions in a recent interview about whether he plans to run for president in 2016.

The first-term Republican senator has been peppered with such questions because his summer travel schedule reads like an itinerary for a potential presidential candidate: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida - four early-voting states in the primary and caucus calendar - are all on the list.

Asked in a recent interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl if he’s running for president, Cruz answered: “We are having a national debate about which direction the country should go.”

“And what I am doing now is trying to participate in that national debate,” he added. “I understand that everyone likes to focus on the politics.”

Cruz says Obama going after guns with ‘stand your ground’ remark

In the interview that aired Sunday, Karl pressed further on whether Cruz is ready to run for president.

“You know, I'm not focused on the politics,” Cruz replied.

“Is it fair to say you're not?” Karl asked.

“I've been in the Senate all of seven months. The last office I was elected to was student council. So this has been a bit of a whirlwind,” Cruz said.

Cruz press secretary Catherine Frazier has explained the trips in the past by saying, "We've been receiving an overwhelming amount of requests to speak.”

“The senator is willing and excited go anywhere where people want to listen to his vision and message for restoring our nation's economic growth,” she said.

And Cruz told reporters Friday in Iowa that he considers the visits an opportunity to "engage grassroots activists." He added that it was "premature" to decide who they should support in 2016, but he said he'll support "whoever is standing up and leading."

Cruz’s eligibility for president, however, has come into question, given that he was born in Canada to a father from Cuba and a mother born in the United States. Cruz addressed the question in the ABC interview.

“My mother was born in Wilmington, Delaware. She is a U.S. citizen. So I am a U.S. citizen by birth,” he said.

During his appearance in Iowa on Friday, he was again asked by reporters if he was running for president. After Cruz gave a lengthy answer, journalists, including Karl, followed up: “Was that a no or a yes?”

"My focus right now is not on politics," Cruz said.

– CNN's Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2016 • Ted Cruz
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. CB FL

    Wasn't he born in Canada?

    July 21, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  2. AC

    oh I am sure the birthers won't question Sen. Cruz's citizenship credentials! It's only President Obama who's supposedly not American just because his father was Kenyan and his mother was an American citizen, right?

    July 21, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. don in albuquerque

    Oh please run. We need a Man From Uncle lookalike in the white house. Sorry Napoleon Solo, to even compare this joke of a human to you.

    July 21, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. Donkey Party

    Ok birthers, let him have it!

    July 21, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. Steve, New York City

    Ted Cruz's comments against legitimate criticism of "Stand Your Ground" laws, some of which has come from his own party, are among the most mindless, frightening comments made by the GOP. He and some others need to desperately heed Governor Jindal's comments to stop being the stupid party.
    If I were a teenager, and some creepy guy in a car was following me (and not identifying himself as a neighborhood watchman), why wouldn't "Stand Your Ground" also apply to my own self-defense??? Then again, why should anyone be surprised about clueless legislation that comes out of a place like Florida - Zimmerman not guilty, but the lady that fires a warning shot at an abusive ex-husband is guilty, Casey Anthony not guilty . . . .very glad that I don't live in a place with a worthless legal system.

    July 21, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. PaulCat

    Cruz was not born in the U.S., but his mother was. So............calling Donald Trump...........calling Fox news

    July 21, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  7. Anthony in California

    Republican Party = CRAZY, but they sure do stick together and fight.
    Democrat Party = INTELLIGENT, EDUCATED, but wimpy as all hell.

    Anyhow.. Clinton will still crush anyone these Repubs send up Nomination Hill.... psycho Cruz included.

    July 21, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. Tampa Tim

    Foreign born Cruz is not eligible, as he was born in Canada while our current President was born in Hawaii. At least we will see if the Birthers will be equally outraged with Cruz, or if it was because they were upset with our president being black.

    July 21, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  9. MaryM

    Forget it Ted, McCarthy, Cruz. You have not got a chance in hell. You are just another American Taliban in Texas

    July 21, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. Marie MD

    @ray (GA), if tea troll cross was worrying about his country he would be living in Canada where he was born and from some of the bloggers here, they don't want him either!
    Calling the bad hair man to investigate this crazy Canadian who thinks he can be our president.

    July 21, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. Hector Slagg

    Easy Hambones !,
    Cruz isn't running for Prez. Why would you elect someone that was only a Senator for less than one term? Oh, you elected Obama? Sorry! Cruz ain't qualified. is he? After all Cruz may take away your Rubber Ducky, and your Nanny!

    July 21, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  12. Sophie Meyer

    A modern day Joe McCarthy – it didn't work out so well for him, neither will it for Cruz. The American electorate isn't THAT stupid.

    July 21, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. yogi

    One more to get ready for a seat on the GOP clown bus, on which we will find familiar faces and some new one's, ready for their freak shows.

    July 21, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  14. Bea

    If there's one thing that has brought bipartisanship to the Senate is Ted Cruz, most of his colleagues dislike him. What makes this man think that he would even be fit to be president in 2016? I can't understand the hubris of people who have a minimum amount of elective experience and who think that they are prepared to handle one of the most difficult jobs in the world. I've noticed this trend the last decade or so, and it affects both parties.

    July 21, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  15. nintex

    The "national debate about which direction the country should go" fortunately does not include the garbage the tea party is putting forth, so Cruz doesn't have anything to worry about. Normal Americans would like to move the country forward and make some progress, not move back into the dark ages where the tea party seems to live.

    Also, the birthers will surely go after him for being born in a foreign country, and we all know they can count on Trump to come up with some surprising news about his birth certificate!

    July 21, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  16. king

    aahhhh the repub hypocrisy have no bounds, where is Donald trump and the birthers, i dont see them running around with picket sighns shouting eligitimate foreign candidate. how the hell hes a senate anyways, wasnt he born in canada.

    July 21, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  17. Bill

    @Hector Slagg

    FYI, Obama had been a senator for almost two you years when he ran. This loud-mouthed clown has been in the Senate for a whole six months. I really hope Cruz does run – just more fodder for the American people to see that the GOP is not at all serious about winning the White House. Run Teddy, run!

    July 21, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  18. Thomas

    Tail Gunner Ted !

    Cruz / Rubio
    2016 , Viva Cuba

    July 21, 2013 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

    Typical Repub. Thinks that because he's willing to lie and fan the flames of fear, hatred and division that he's qualified to be a GOP presidential candidate.

    Oh, wait, that's all any of them have ... because all of their policies are PROVEN FAILURES.

    July 21, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  20. Malory Archer

    Hector Slagg
    Easy Hambones !,
    Cruz isn't running for Prez. Why would you elect someone that was only a Senator for less than one term? Oh, you elected Obama? Sorry! Cruz ain't qualified. is he? After all Cruz may take away your Rubber Ducky, and your Nanny!

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Cruz isn't qualified simply because he wasn't born in the United States.

    July 21, 2013 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  21. gord

    they will give him a pass,he says what they like ,the nra will be in his corner -president cruz

    July 21, 2013 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  22. roro

    HUH? The man has been an outspoken attention seeking senator for 5 minutes, and now he's thinking of the presidency. Unbelievable arrogance and gaul! On second thought, the man is such a jackhole, it might be good for the Democrats if he does run. Run, Ted, run – all the way back to Canada.

    July 21, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  23. Steveo

    As I stated last week, the Constitution limits the presidency to "natural born" citizens. Yet it fails to define what "natural born" citizen means. Does it mean born within the borders of the US and its territories (including embassies or military bases(as in the case of McCain)? Does it mean at least one parent has to be a US citizen (as in the case of President Obama). IF (and a big IF) Cruz decides to run, surely the courts will get involved!

    July 21, 2013 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  24. Raul Kabinza

    We have never had confirmation that Obama was born in Hawaii. We lack a real birth certificate signed by the delivering physician. Nevertheless, we don't have to go there, as it is too late. Additionally, Obama has gone to length to hide his college transcripts and documents. That's weird, but not illegal. We need a constitutionalist and not a republican or democrat – they are in cahoots in managing drugs across our borders – it's the Congress's version of a coliseum for the Roman citizenry. Additionally, it was white Republicans who assured Obama of his victory. Cruz is ineligible and not supported by the electorate anyway.

    July 21, 2013 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  25. Dallas

    OMG! Don't even let this man even near the White House tour. What nerve thinking he's even remotely qualified to be POTUS. It's bad enough he 's one of our senators here in Texas, but we don't need to subject the rest of the country to him!

    July 21, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
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