(CNN) - Asked Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" whether Sen. Ted Cruz would be an "attractive" presidential candidate in 2016, Sen. John McCain said he couldn't predict the future but said the Texas Republican will be "very attractive to many" in Cruz's conservative base.
"The question is," he added, "will our party be able to field a winning presidential candidate and vice president so that we can win the election rather than – unfortunately, the record of the last couple has not been what we want it to be.
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"I can say that from a personal standpoint," the 2008 Republican presidential nominee told CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger.
Cruz to CNN: ‘I don’t work for the party bosses in Washington’
Cruz hasn't said he plans to run in the next presidential cycle, but his multiple trips to early primary and caucus states - coupled with his meteoric rise among conservatives - has fueled speculation that he may be interested in a White House bid.
Asked about his plans in an interview with CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash, Cruz said he's focused "entirely" on his job in the U.S. Senate.
He said the reason he has traveled to early voting states is because he's trying to "make the case to the American people."
"You don't get 2 million people signing a national petition without going directly to the people," he said, referring to the "Don't Fund Obamacare" website.
The Republican attended a GOP fundraiser in New Hampshire in August, gave the keynote address at a GOP dinner in South Carolina in May and visited Iowa twice this summer for separate events. He returns to the Hawkeye State for a third time this week to speak at a dinner in Des Moines and to be a guest at Rep. Steve King's annual Col. Bud Day Pheasant Hunt.
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