Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHow did Hillary Clinton do? Pundits react to speech Winners and losers of the Democratic National Convention Trump unloads on Clinton moments after speech MORE said Monday he is capable of turning on Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzDem lawmakers rally Muslims against Trump Anti-Clinton super-PAC looks to inflame intraparty tension with Sanders backers The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Texas) in their competition for the GOP’s 2016 presidential nomination.
“If he catches on, I guess we’ll have to go to war,” he told host Joe Kernen on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
“Well, he’s been very nice and supportive of everything I’ve said, more than anybody else.”
Cruz and Trump have typically enjoyed a warm relationship since launching their respective Oval Office bids earlier this year. The pair has expressed mutual admiration over their similar policies on border security and illegal immigration.
“I salute Donald Trump for focusing on the need to address illegal immigration,” Cruz said on July 5.
“I like Donald Trump,” he said. "He is bold, he is brash. He has a colorful way of speaking, and it’s not my way of speaking, but I salute him.”
Both men have also found common ground opposing President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. The two teamed up for a rally criticizing implementation of the controversial pact last September.
Trump remains first in the race for next year’s GOP presidential nomination with 24.3 percent, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average. Cruz trails the billionaire by nearly 14 points in the same index while still seeing success in other areas.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) endorsed Cruz on Monday, for example, boosting his prestige in the early voting state.
“Cruz has a proven record of standing up to both Democrats and Republicans to put the American people first, and I believe he is the only one who can unite conservatives around his campaign and build the organization necessary to beat [Democratic presidential front-runner] Hillary Clinton,” King said in a statement released by the Cruz campaign.
“With Ted Cruz, conservatives no longer have to accept a Republican nominee who doesn’t truly share are values.”
Trump argued Monday that he remains satisfied with his place in the GOP’s 2016 presidential primary so far.
“We’re doing very well,” he said. "The message is resonating. [It is] tough talk [but] common sense talk.”