Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said of his opponent Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that he was the only person “that Hillary Clinton can beat.”
Partial transcript as follows:
CRUZ: Look, my focus is very simple. It is on winning 1,237 delegates to be the Republican nominee. We’re on a path to do so. Coming out of Super Tuesday, fewer than a hundred delegates separate Donald Trump and me. And so as much as the media wants to just have a coronation — and, listen, frankly, one of the reasons the media wants Donald to be the nominee is because the media knows Donald can’t win the general, that Hillary would wallop him.
Donald may be the only person on the face of the planet that Hillary Clinton can beat.
And all of the attacks on Donald that the media is not talking about now, you better believe, come September, October, November, if he were the nominee, every day on the nightly news would be taking Donald apart. And the stakes are too high for us to risk that.
DICKERSON: The media also thought that he wasn’t going to get this far. So, that’s hardly…
CRUZ: That’s true at first. But let’s be clear. The media has given Donald Trump hundreds of millions of dollars of free advertising.
When you put Donald — when every press conference is carried live on every television station, and you essentially have a massive in-kind contribution from the media, that has helped create this phenomenon.
And then I think an awful lot of reporters — I can’t tell you how many media outlets I hear have this great expose on Donald, on different aspects of his business dealings, or his past, but they said, you know what, we’re going to hold it to June or July. We’re not going to run it now.
(CROSSTALK) DICKERSON: You’re saying reporters have told you that? They have told…
CRUZ: Absolutely. We have gotten multiple…
DICKERSON: And from which organizations have they told you?
CRUZ: You know, look, I’m not going to out media outlets, but I can tell you there is so much there.
When was the last time people are bringing up his tax returns, for example. We had a debate last night, didn’t hear a word about his tax returns. Every other serious candidate…
DICKERSON: Well, you could have brought it up.
CRUZ: I could have, and I do often.
But as Mitt Romney rightly observed, the fact that Donald won’t hand over his tax returns suggests there’s a bombshell in there. The fact that journalists are not raising the question of what Donald Trump told “The New York Times” editorial board, the reports are…
DICKERSON: But the journalists brought it up, which gave you the platform to talk about it. So, surely they are. BuzzFeed wrote about it, so they are talking about it.
CRUZ: I promise you, come the general election, that will be the singular focus of the media. And I think Republicans, we have been burned by that before.
We’re not interested in losing again, particularly when the stakes, I think, are catastrophic.
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