Cruz: Voter fraud a challenge
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Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzUS has seen 45 mass shootings in the past month The Hill's 12:30 Report: Nearly half of U.S. adults partially or fully vaccinated Cruz no longer wearing mask in Capitol MORE (R-Texas) has sidestepped weighing in on Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFreedom Caucus member condemns GOP group pushing 'Anglo-Saxon political traditions' MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's new free speech site to ban certain curse words Secret Facebook groups of special operations officers include racist comments, QAnon posts: report MORE's accusation that the elections are "rigged," instead saying that the country has previously had issues with voter fraud.

"Voter fraud has long been a challenge in America, but the best way to combat voter fraud is for voters to turn out in such overwhelming numbers that corrupt politicians can't steal an election," Cruz told the Texas Tribune on Tuesday. 

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Asked if he shared Trump's concern that the November elections could be "rigged," the Texas Republican declined to comment.

Most Senate Republicans are largely avoiding questions about whether they agree with Trump, who has accused GOP leadership of trying to "deny what is going on."

Three of Cruz's GOP colleagues who are up for reelection — Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHillicon Valley: Biden administration sanctions Russia for SolarWinds hack, election interference Senators reintroduce bill to block NATO withdrawal New US sanctions further chill Biden-Putin relations MORE (Fla.), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonPelosi: Dropping 9/11-style Jan. 6 commission an 'option' amid opposition Wisconsin state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski launches Senate bid Biden picks vocal Trump critics to lead immigration agencies MORE (Wis.) — each said this week that they do not believe the elections are being rigged.

But Trump has doubled down on his claim ahead of Wednesday's presidential debate as national polls show him falling further behind Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it' Cuba readies for life without Castro Chelsea Clinton: Pics of Trump getting vaccinated would help him 'claim credit' MORE in the final homestretch of the campaign.

Cruz, who is widely expected to make another presidential bid, has had a rocky relationship with Trump after refusing him endorse him for months after they fought bitterly during the GOP primaries.

The Texas Republican announced that he would vote for Trump in late September as the GOP nominee appeared to be steadying in the polls and Cruz was under fire from Republicans in Texas for his stance.

Cruz said last week that he is still backing Trump, swatting away speculation that he would walk back his endorsement because of the political fallout over Trump's vulgar comments about women.