Cruz Returns to Senate, Says Voters Needn't Decide on Trump Yet

On his first day back in the Senate, Ted Cruz repeatedly avoided endorsing his party’s presumptive presidential nominee, ruled out a third-party run against Donald Trump and said he would continue to serve as an “outsider."

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz announces his withdrawal from the presidential campaign in Indianapolis, Indiana on May 3, 2016.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz announces his withdrawal from the presidential campaign in Indianapolis, Indiana on May 3, 2016.  CNN Screenshot

*Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

On his first day back in the Senate, Ted Cruz repeatedly avoided endorsing his party’s presumptive presidential nominee, ruled out a third-party run against Donald Trump and said he would continue to serve as an “outsider” in the upper chamber. 

Both to reporters gathered outside of his Washington, D.C., office and in an interview with radio host Glenn Beck, a supporter, Cruz repeatedly avoided supporting Trump but signaled to backers that they can take their time to assess him. 

"This is a choice every voter is going to have to make, and I would note it's not a choice we as the voters have to make today," Cruz told Beck. "The voters in the primary have seemed to have made a choice, and we'll see what happens as the months go forward, but I think we need to watch and see what the candidates say and do."

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In the Beck interview, Cruz appeared to leave the door open to resuming his own campaign. Beck asked Cruz about the possibility of returning to the race, perhaps if he does well in Tuesday's Nebraska primary. Cruz replied that he was "not holding my breath" for such an outcome, but said he would be open to the opportunity if it presented itself.

But Cruz closed that door hours later, saying to reporters, “Let’s be clear, we’re not going to win Nebraska today."

“I have no interest in a third-party run,” he added. 

Cruz, who has toxic relationships with some of his fellow Republican senators, said upon his return that he will not change course in how he approaches his job in Washington.

“I am going to continue fighting for the American people, and if fighting for the American people makes you an outsider in the Senate, I will happily remain an outsider,” he told the gathered reporters.

When a reporter asked Cruz if he felt humbled after losing, Cruz conceded a sense of humility. 

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“I am certainly disappointed with the outcome, that I disappointed so many millions of grassroots activists across this country,” he said.

Cruz's Tuesday interview with Beck was his first media appearance since he dropped out of the race following a devastating loss to Trump a week ago in the Indiana primary. The outcome in the Hoosier State set Trump on the path to become the presumptive nominee; Ohio Gov. John Kasich ended his campaign a day later. 

In the interview, Cruz continued to complain that media executives propped up Trump so he could advance to an expected loss in the general election against Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. 

"That has a dramatic impact on the polls when every network becomes effectively the super PAC for the candidate they want to win the nomination, and we're about to see that same ferocious fury now turn against Donald in an effort to elect Hillary," Cruz said.