(CNN) – Ted Cruz said Sunday that he’s prepared to support any Republican in this year’s presidential election — even if the party nominates a candidate he believes would lose to Hillary Clinton..
Appearing on “State of the Union with Jake Tapper,” the Texas senator once again insisted that he is the best alternative to Trump, saying that 65% of GOP primary voters agree that the real estate mogul is not the best candidate to face Clinton.
“You know, we’ve seen now that there’s only one candidate that has beaten Donald Trump and that can beat Donald Trump,” said Cruz, who gave Trump his only loss of the season thus far in the Iowa caucuses.
Cruz is the favorite to win the Texas primary, one of several states voting this week on “Super Tuesday.” Polls show that Trump is leading in most of the other states voting that day.
Cruz told Tapper he hopes “those 65% of Republicans that don’t think Donald can beat Hillary will continue to unite behind our campaign.”
If Trump were to clinch the nomination, Cruz believes the billionaire would “probably” lose to Clinton. Cruz said that Trump’s past praise of Clinton, as well as his donation to the Clinton Foundation, would neutralize any GOP attacks against the former secretary of state.
Cruz and Marco Rubio have ratcheted up their attacks on the Republican frontrunner in recent weeks, as the prospect of Trump winning the nomination grows ever more likely. The two senators took turns ripping Trump at last week’s debate.
On Sunday, Cruz suggested that a Trump presidency would be chaotic.
“Listen, if Donald becomes president, who the heck knows what he would do? Even Donald doesn’t know what he would do,” Cruz said. “And I think the challenges facing this country are too grave to roll the dice and risk losing the Supreme Court for a generation, risk yet more economic stagnation and risk on foreign policy allowing radical Islamic terrorism to continue to rise and threaten America.”
Despite that concern, Cruz didn’t balk when asked if he’d support Trump in a general election.
“I will support the Republican nominee,” Cruz said. “Period. The end.”
But as he hit the Sunday shows, Cruz unloaded on Trump, hammering him for refusing to release his tax returns.
Cruz became the first Trump opponent to invoke his history of dealings with mafia families on construction deals in an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” as he questioned why the real estate mogul won’t release those returns.
“There have been multiple media reports about Donald’s business dealings with the mob, with the mafia. Now maybe his tax returns show that those business dealings are a lot more extensive than has been reported,” Cruz said.
He pointed to Trump’s dealings with the mob-controlled S&A Concrete to build his Trump Plaza condos. Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, head of the Genovese crime family, and Paul Castellano, the don of New York’s Gambino family, controlled S&A.
He also built Trump Tower out of concrete, instead of steel, at a time when the mafia controlled much of the concrete industry.
“Maybe that’s what his tax returns show,” Cruz said.