Perry urged GOP rep to challenge Cruz: report
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Former Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) earlier this year strongly pressured Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) to launch a primary challenge against Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCheney drama exposes GOP's Trump rifts Pollster Frank Luntz: 'I would bet on' Trump being 2024 GOP nominee Tim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls MORE (R-Texas) in 2018, according to a new report.

Perry began prodding McCaul to test Cruz’s reelection campaign after the senator refused to endorse GOP presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSanders: Reinstating SALT deduction 'sends a terrible, terrible message' GOP braces for wild week with momentous vote One quick asylum fix: How Garland can help domestic violence survivors MORE in July, The Texas Tribune reported Monday, citing two Republican sources.

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A  Perry spokesman on Monday refused comment on whether the former Republican presidential candidate spoke to McCaul about a 2018 run.

“Rick Perry holds Michael McCaul in the highest esteem,” Stan Gerdes wrote in an email to the Tribune.

Cruz infuriated some grassroots Republican by refusing to back Trump during a high-profile speech at the Republican National Convention. The senator urged listeners to vote their “conscience” instead, a move that drew boos from the convention floor in Cleveland.

McCaul, a six-term congressman, last week refused to rule out a challenge to Cruz in 2018

“You can’t close off your options,” he told the Tribune. "I have several options potentially in front of me and I’m not going to say no to any of them.

“I think he’s spent a lot of time since day one running to be president,” McCaul added of Cruz. "You know, I think we deserve somebody in the Senate who is going to be representing the interests of the state of Texas.

"[Cruz has to] mind the store back home, and I do think he has traveled the state in an effort to get that back on track.”

Cruz has refused to rule out a 2020 presidential bid but has also said he is not taking Senate reelection for granted either.

The senator has since reversed course on Trump as well, endorsing him last month.