Bob Dole: Trump would be better nominee than Cruz

Former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) is warning of "wholesale losses" for Republicans if Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz's Dem challenger slams Time piece praising Trump Race for Republican Speaker rare chance to unify party for election 32 male senators back Senate women's calls to change harassment rules MORE (R-Texas) is the party's nominee, and says only Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpClinton takes swipe at 'false equivalency' in media coverage of 2016 election Trump asked Netanyahu if he actually cares about peace: report Official: Trump to urge North Korea to dismantle nuclear program in return for sanctions relief MORE can stop him.

“I question his allegiance to the party,” the 1996 GOP presidential nominee said about Cruz in an interview with The New York Times published Wednesday. “I don’t know how often you’ve heard him say the word ‘Republican’ — not very often.

“If he’s the nominee, we’re going to have wholesale losses in Congress and state offices and governors and legislatures,” Dole continued.

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He went on to praise Trump as someone who could work with Congress, noting his skills as a “deal-maker.”

“I think Trump can probably work with Congress, because he’s, you know, he’s got the right personality and he’s kind of a deal-maker,” Dole said.

Dole also said Trump would have an easier time in a general election match-up against Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton takes swipe at 'false equivalency' in media coverage of 2016 election Former presidents, first ladies come together to honor Barbara Bush Romney: Parts of Comey book read 'too much like a novel’ MORE.

“I think she’d be a pretty easy target in the general, if we nominate the right person,” he said.

Dole said Clinton would easily defeat Cruz.

“No, he’s not that person. If he does it, I think she’ll win in a waltz,” he said about a Cruz-Clinton general election matchup.

Dole, who’s endorsed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s campaign, has previously railed against both Cruz and Trump.

In an interview early last month on MSNBC, he panned Trump for insulting the other GOP candidates and called Cruz “so extreme.”

Dole maintained his support for Bush, calling him an “honest guy who’s had experience" and "dealt with a legislature.”

But he conceded that the former governor is struggling to gain ground in a crowded GOP field.

“He needs to break out, and he hasn’t done it yet.”