Republican presidential hopeful Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO'Rourke prepping run for governor in Texas: report Support for Abbott plunging in Texas: poll White House debates vaccines for air travel MORE in an interview broadcast Sunday rejected the notion that the nomination of a candidate other than front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims MORE would spark riots, but he said the billionaire may try to encourage them.
“No, it won't, although Donald may do everything he can to encourage riots,” Cruz said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“The last contested convention we had in 1976, Ronald Reagan had a million more votes than Gerald Ford. But Gerald Ford got the votes of the majority of the delegates,” he said.
“If you look back to the very first Republican convention in 1860, our very first candidate for president, Abraham Lincoln, came into a contested convention, and he was second in the balloting. And on the third ballot, he won a majority. The test is to win a majority.”
Cruz said Trump “cannot win a majority.”
“Majorities matter. And it's why Donald wants to change the rules and rig the system,” he added.
“You know, I'll use a football analogy. If you're on the 30-yard line, it's not a touchdown. Donald right now is on the 30-yard line and he wants everyone to say, ‘Hey, the game is over because, you know, I'm past the 50.’ So what? He cannot earn a majority.”
Cruz and Trump are locked in a tight battle ahead of Tuesday’s Republican primary in Indiana, where the billionaire holds a 4-point lead, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls.
During the CBS interview, the Texas senator said Trump is “attempting to perpetuate one of the greatest frauds in the history of modern elections.”
“He is trying to convince people that he's some sort of outsider. Donald is the essence of the Washington insider. He has been enmeshed in the corruption in Washington,” Cruz said.