Cruz: Rubio Stopped Being ‘Afraid’ of Trump, Did Well — But FL Numbers Are Bad

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) argued that while fellow candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has poor poll numbers in Florida, and has been “unwilling” to go after fellow candidate Donald Trump, “Marco did a good job” attacking Trump and Rubio “would both make a much better candidate and a much better president than would Donald” in an interview on CNN after that network’s debate on Tuesday.

Cruz began by saying that fellow candidate Donald Trump is “not a good candidate” against Hillary because he’s agreed with her “on far too many issues.” And that Trump “ran away” from his support for socialized medicine. He further stated Trump “over and over again” took liberal positions on Obamacare, amnesty, Libya, and Israel.

Cruz also said that Trump being audited is all the more reason he ought to hand his tax forms over, because if there is fraud, people should know this. He later stated Trump “can’t respond on substance.”

After the discussion turned to Rubio, Cruz said he thought “Marco did a good job. Tonight, he did something tonight that he’s never done, which is he actually, for the first time, took on Donald Trump, and I’m glad he did. Listen, Marco is not my enemy. Marco and I are friends. Marco and I would both make a much better candidate and a much better president than would Donald.”

Earlier, Cruz did say he was the only candidate who could beat Trump, and pointed to the differing poll numbers between the two in their home states, adding, “If you can’t win your home state, that’s a problem.”

Cruz further argued that he’s been drawing distinctions with Trump “for weeks, if not months, taking him on directly, while the rest of the field has been unwilling to do so.” And that Rubio should have attacked Trump earlier and that he’s been “afraid” to attack Trump.

Cruz concluded that Trump wants votes for candidates other than him to remain split.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett