Politics & Government

Ted Cruz vows to do ‘everything humanly possible to defeat Hillary Clinton’

Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz works the call center at the Tarrant County Republican Party headquarters in Fort Worth on Wednesday.
Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz works the call center at the Tarrant County Republican Party headquarters in Fort Worth on Wednesday. kbouaphanh@star-telegram.com

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz last month announced that he would support Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the battle for the White House.

On Wednesday, at a Republican phone bank in Tarrant County, he asked others to do the same.

“I’m doing everything I can to turn conservatives out on Election Day,” he said. “I’m doing everything humanly possible to defeat Hillary Clinton.”

So he sat down at a table at the Tarrant County Republican Party headquarters, picked up a phone and started calling local voters, asking them to vote Nov. 8.

He reached several voters’ voice mail, so he left messages asking people to vote to “support freedom, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”

His goal, he said, is to turn out voters who will support Republicans up and down the ballot, fearing that a low turnout can impact any race.

“I’m doing everything I can to help keep Texas red, to turn out conservatives across the state, to win elections at the local and county level all the way up.”

Tarrant County Democratic Party Chair Deborah Peoples said she’s not surprised Cruz is springing into action.

“Now that he’s decided to fall in line, that’s what he’s supposed to say and do,” she said. “I think we all know … electing Donald Trump would be a disaster.

“Sometimes I almost feel sorry for Republicans who have to try to defend their candidate.”

Early voting runs Oct. 24-Nov. 4. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Looking ahead

Since ending his own presidential bid, much talk has centered around Cruz and his re-election bid in 2018.

His re-election bid could draw serious challengers after he upset some in his party by not endorsing Trump during their party’s national convention this summer, instead telling people to head to the polls and vote their “conscience.”

Cruz, who recently has been helping raise campaign money for some Republican Senate colleagues, eventually signaled support for Trump, saying he will vote for the GOP presidential nominee.

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, has been among those criticizing Cruz, saying he “broke his word” by not endorsing Trump at the convention. McCaul, who heads the House Homeland Security Committee, hasn’t ruled out a run against Cruz for the Senate in two years.

A few Democrats — including either U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro or his brother, HUD Secretary Julian Castro — have been mentioned as potential Democratic challengers to Cruz in 2018. At one time, former state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, was mentioned as a possible contender but she has since said she won’t be in the race.

Right now, Cruz said his focus remains on Nov. 8, 2016.

“I’m doing everything I can to help my [Republican] colleagues get re-elected,” Cruz said.

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley

Election information

Election Day will be here before you know it. For more information about candidates on the Nov. 8 ballot, go to the Star-Telegram’s website, www.star-telegram.com, to read the online Voters Guide.