Ted Cruz: Trump tweets have 'coarsened discussion'

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCrenshaw looms large as Democrats look to flip Texas House seat SCOTUS confirmation in the last month of a close election? Ugly The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' MORE (R-Texas) on Monday said he believed many of President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick MORE’s tweets have “coarsened discussion,” but praised the president for having “a backbone."

“So many of us are so sick and tired of Republicans that roll over and whimper when encountering the slightest resistance. And I think probably the best characteristic about the president is he’s got a backbone. And he will fight,” Cruz told conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt, when asked how the president has changed the Republican Party.

“Now I will say ... I wish his tone and some of the things he said were different,” Cruz added. “Many of the tweets I’m not a fan of, and I do think it has coarsened discussion. So that is a less-than-positive development.”

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Cruz, who ran for the White House in 2016, has rarely addressed the content of Trump’s tweets since the president took office, but he called Trump a “sniveling coward” during the 2016 Republican primary after tweets from then-candidate Trump attacking Cruz’s wife Heidi.

The Texas senator went on to say the president has “driven the Democratic Party insane [and] also driven the media insane.”

“And in terms of how that impacts the Republican Party, that actually has some of us defending things like free enterprise, defending things like the founding principles,” he added. “It is pushing Republicans, and I hope we go much faster towards this, to actually defending the fundamental ideals upon which our nation was founded.”

Cruz also told Hewitt that should former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFormer Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick Bloomberg rolls out M ad buy to boost Biden in Florida MORE be elected president in November with a Democratic Senate majority, they would grant statehood to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico within the first six months of 2021, leading to, “in all likelihood, four new Democratic senators. ... So if the Democrats start in January with 51 senators, they could very well end the summer with 55.”