Despite growing questions about GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s incendiary behavior, including his comments encouraging and defending violence against protesters at his rallies, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Monday that he will continue to back Trump should he win the nomination, with just one caveat: if he actually shoots someone in the street.
“If, for example, he were to go out on Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, I would not be willing to support Donald Trump,” Cruz said at a press conference. He then proceeded to express his strong opposition to Trump’s ideology and his hope that he could “beat him at the ballot box.”
Trump, highlighting the loyalty of his supporters, claimed in January: “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, okay, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay?”
Cruz has previously decried Trump’s campaign as one that “affirmatively encourages violence” and “disrespects voters,” but steadfastly vowed to “support the Republican nominee, whoever it is.”
All four Republican candidates have pledged time and again that they would support their party’s eventual nominee, though both Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich admitted over the weekend that Trump’s behavior is making that pledge harder to justify.
Watch the video of Cruz’s remarks: