Benevolent Cruz says he would consider Rubio for his administration

December 21, 2015

SAVANNAH, Georgia — Despite a vitriolic feud intensifying between Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, Cruz said he would consider his Senate colleague for a position in his administration when asked by Reuters.

“Marco is a very, very talented leader. He’s a friend of mine, he’s charming, he’s an incredible communicator,” Cruz said Saturday morning outside of Savannah. “And any Republican president would be a fool for the men and women standing on that debate stage not to comprise a substantial portion of their Cabinet.”

The two 44-year-old senators have been locked in a battle for conservatives that has grown nastier since Tuesday night’s Republican debate in Las Vegas. Cruz is beating Rubio in opinion polls of Republican voters both nationally and in Iowa.

And Cruz is trotting out dyed-in-the-wool conservative Republican lawmakers from the south to defend his records against attacks from his rival, like Alabama congressman Mo Brooks and Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions.

Cruz even suggested several times over the weekend that he would nominate Sessions, who is extremely popular in Alabama and a leading opponent of immigration reform, to be secretary of the Department of Homeland Security if he is elected next year.

With chances of a Cruz presidential nomination increasing, Reuters followed up: Who else might the Texan consider for Cabinet appointments. He may be an outsider, but he still knows how to play politics.

“It is premature to start rolling out Cabinet appointments,” he said with a smile. “I have yet to win a state first.” Despite Cruz’s reputation for aggression and opportunity, he even tells his crowds “if I am president” as opposed to “when” – as most candidates like to do.

But pressed on the issue, particularly in an election cycle where national security has taken on outsize importance, he allowed that former ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton “is someone who I speak to regularly. He’s someone whose foreign policy advice I think is exceptionally sound.”

Cruz added, “General Mike Flynn is someone I’ve spent quite a bit of time with. I think he has very sound national security insights.”

And even though Saturday Night Live poked fun over the weekend about the reputation Cruz has for being disliked, he stayed long after each of his events wrapped up so he could meet all the potential voters who came out to see him.

When Congressman Jack Kingston of Georgia interrupted a conversation Cruz was having with a woman in Bloomingdale, Georgia, trying to get him to autograph a copy of his book for her so Kingston could introduce him to the town mayor, Cruz was visibly nervous, even guilty. When he was able to turn to the woman, he apologized profusely and snapped a photo with her.

No comments so far

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/