Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said Thursday he is convinced Sen. Ted Cruz is running for president after spending time with the Texas Republican on a trip to South Africa.
“Definitely,” Cummings told CNN. “Yes, I have no doubt about it, no.”
Cummings said Cruz dodged questions about his presidential ambitions during their conversation but admitted he would continue visiting early nominating states and take the steps that presidential candidates tend to make.
“I asked him directly,” Cummings told CNN. “He tried to skirt the issue, but basically said that he would be traveling throughout the country.”
Cummings then asked if he would continue to travel to early primary or caucus states like Iowa and South Carolina.
“He said he would probably be going to all of those places, and he would doing the things that a presidential candidate would be normally doing, but he wouldn't say yes or no. But it was quite clear to me,” Cummings said.
Cummings was one of 23 lawmakers that traveled to South Africa for Mandela's service.
In comments to the Baltimore Sun earlier this week, Cummings said he and a number of members of the Congressional Black Caucus pressed Cruz about his stance on President Obama’s healthcare law during the trip.
Cummings did not know if their conversations would sink in, but argued it was important to let a presidential contender hear his views.
“Somebody who is running for president and someone who is doing the things that he's doing with regard to the national — in the national arena, I think they need to hear from every element of the population,” he said.
“And certainly the Congressional Black Caucus represents some very, very significant views,” he added.
Earlier Thursday, Cruz described the the conversations as “lively, spirited” and “friendly.”
Cummings did say the two found a bit of common ground in their personal histories.
“I found out that we were both preachers' kids,” he said. “I also found out that he was tremendously influenced by his father. And I told him how influenced I was by my father.”