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Ted Cruz said Saturday he is targeting a third term in the US Senate in 2024, but hasn’t ruled out running for president either.
“I’m running for Senate re-election, I’m focused on the struggles in the United States Senate,” Cruz told reporters after speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting in Las Vegas. He said he was also focusing on the Dec. 6 Senate runoff in Georgia, according to video released by Fox News of his discussion with reporters.
The Texas Republican reiterated his disappointment at his party’s failure to seize control of the Senate in this month’s midterm elections, a setback he attributed to a lack of resolve within the party.
Cruz was one of 10 Republican senators who voted Wednesday against re-electing Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, as minority leader. McConnell easily fended off a challenge from Sen. Rick Scott, R-Florida, by a vote of 37-10.
On Saturday, Cruz said he had filed a motion to delay the leadership election until after the Georgia runoff. Backed by former President Donald Trump, Herschel Walker, the retired soccer star, is challenging Senator Raphael Warnock. Democrats have already won 50 seats in the next Senate, giving them control of the chamber with Vice President Kamala Harris’ landmark vote, but both parties are pouring money into the race.
“We need a real debate about how we’re going to lead the minority in the US Senate over the next two years,” Cruz told the Republican Jewish Coalition. “And the question I asked Mitch McConnell and our leadership was very simple, ‘Is there something we are willing to fight for?’ I stood in front of the conference and said, ‘Listen, I’ve traveled all over the country. I’m telling you, people are discouraged and demoralized because they say Republicans aren’t fighting in the Senate.’ And there’s a reason for that, and that’s because Republicans aren’t fighting in the Senate.”
Cruz called on Republicans to fight to reinstate service members who were fired for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine. (Most service members have been laid off across the board, meaning they can be reinstated if they get the vaccine.)
Cruz also said the party should block the Biden administration’s plan to hire 87,000 IRS agents and divert the money to border security. (The number comes from a May 2021 Treasury Department estimate of the total number of employees the IRS plans to hire over the next 10 years. Most will replace employees who retire, and most will focus on areas like customer service and technology – don’t check tax returns.)
When asked whether he should no longer be considered as a potential presidential candidate, Cruz said that “there will be ample time for discussion [the] presidential election 2024.”