Sunday, on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd got very frustrated with Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) refusal to say if he would support rival candidate Donald Trump if he is the GOP nominee.
Partial transcript as follows:
TODD: [A]re you going to support him? I understand what you believe in the Republican Party. Are you — can you support him? Can you tell your delegates, lay down your arms, and support Donald Trump?
CRUZ: I recognize that many in the media would love for me to surrender to Donald Trump.
TODD: It’s not about the media, senator, it’s about the numbers. He may win. Republican voters are the ones rejecting you. This is not a media conspiracy, senator.
CRUZ: Well, actually, with all due respect, the media has given $2 billion of free advertising to Donald — let me ask you a question, for example, how much money did the networks make on every one of the Republican debates? Millions, right? Like, lots and lots?
TODD: I have no idea, because we didn’t have a Republican debate.
CRUZ: But you know what’s interesting, Chuck, it’s been now 49 days since we’ve had a Republican debate. The Democrats have had a debate, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, they’ve been willing to debate. Donald can’t answer questions about his foreign policy. He can’t answer questions about how you bring jobs back to this country. He won’t debate –.
TODD: But why can’t you answer the question of whether you can support Donald Trump or not? You can’t answer that question. Why won’t you answer that question, black — straightforward, black and white?
CRUZ: Chuck, let me finish this point I’m making. Even though the media stands to make millions of dollars off of a debate, you hear radio silence from the media about no debates. They are giving up millions of dollars, and the reason is, your network’s executives are partisan Democrats. Why doesn’t every TV station have debate countdown clock?
TODD: You don’t get to just say that. Wait a minute, you don’t get to just say that. It’s just not true, but go ahead. You just throw — you’re broad brushing here, and this is exactly what people hate about the media and politics, broad brushes, right?
CRUZ: Listen, the simple reality is, the media, almost entirely are liberal partisan Democrats. That is the reality of it. The media created this Trump phenomenon, and then they don’t hold him accountable. Now, I’m sure the media plan to do so if he’s the nominee. In the general election, suddenly, you’re going to hear every day about Donald Trump’s tax returns. When was the last time you talked about his tax returns? We ought to have a debate. There are real differences. Donald won’t debate, and the media wont hold him accountable. …
TODD: Can you answer the question about whether you’re going to support — are you going to support Donald Trump if he’s the nominee?
CRUZ: I am going to beat Donald Trump. We are headed to a contested convention, and we’re going to win. And I’m not willing to concede this country. Listen, this is my kids’ future, Chuck, it’s not simply a game.
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