Cruz: Rubio would be better president than Trump

Ted CruzTed CruzStephen Hawking: Trump a 'demagogue' Dems to Clinton: Ignore Trump on past scandals Meet the billionaire donor behind Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker MORE said late Thursday that rival Marco RubioMarco RubioRubio apologized to Trump for 'small hands' crack Sunday shows preview: Bernie soldiers on Fla. Senate candidate bashes Rubio MORE would make a better president than Republican front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump slams 'totally biased' judge in Trump U case Ex-pharma CEO Martin Shkreli: I didn’t endorse Trump Five things Clinton needs to do to win the California primary MORE.

"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," Cruz told CNN's Jake Tapper after Thursday's Republican debate.

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"I like Donald personally. He's a charming guy, although he can turn on you in an instant," Cruz continued. "I think it depends on what side of bed he woke up on."

During Thursday night's debate from Houston, both Cruz and Rubio directed their attacks toward Trump, who is riding high after three consecutive wins, in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. The debate comes ahead of Super Tuesday next week, where a dozen states will vote.

Cruz is hoping to fend of Trump in his home state of Texas, which votes on Tuesday.

During the debate the senator hit Trump for past liberal positions, questioning his conservative credentials.

Cruz, though, also jabbed at Rubio on Thursday, suggesting the Florida senator should have gone after Trump sooner this week.

"The only candidate who has ever beaten Trump or who is in a position to do so on Super Tuesday is us," Cruz said.

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