Ted Cruz said Republicans don’t criticize Donald Trump for “punching them in the face” for it.
Cruz said many Republicans wondered how to “deal with Trump” and his incendiary political style.
Cruz also hailed political accomplishments under Trump, who was once a fierce opponent who insulted his wife.
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said his Republican peers are hesitant to criticize former President Donald Trump because if they do, Trump “turns around and punches them in the face.”
Cruz made the comments at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin on Saturday while speaking to the Washington Examiner’s David Drucker.
“Why are people on the Republican side hesitant to criticize Donald Trump? It’s a number of things,” Cruz said. “Unlike a lot of people in politics, if someone criticizes him, they turn around and punch him in the face.”
Cruz said he witnessed meetings where “different Republican senators were criticizing” Trump, who would then “spend the entire meeting slamming them with a stick.”
“I like what we’ve accomplished under Trump. I think there’s an incredible record of political victories,” Cruz said. “I disagree with a lot of things Donald Trump says. And I’ve made the decision not to color comment on MSNBC for every tweet or every obviously indefensible statement.”
“I think it’s the right balance, and I’ll tell you for any Republican, it was a tough call: How do you handle Trump?” Cruz added. “When he does things that are good and commendable, I praise him, and when he says things that I disagree with, I’m just not going to engage in day-to-day color commentary. .”
Cruz and Trump were staunch opponents of the 2016 presidential election, in which Trump made several derogatory comments about Cruz and his family, although he later apologized. Cruz later became one of Trump’s strongest allies.
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