Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the second-to-last man standing in the Republican primaries (if you exclude the hopeless optimist, John Kasich), is reportedly being considered for a position in Donald Trump’s administration. Cruz met with the Trump transition team in New York on Tuesday, and several media outlets quoted sources who said he was on the “long short list” of individuals up for attorney general.
Ostensibly, Cruz was in New York to discuss with Trump ways in which he could help the transition team get things moving along in the right direction. His spokesperson, Catherine Frazier, said that was the extent of the conversation.
“The American people issued a clear mandate to ‘drain the swamp’ in Washington, repeal ObamaCare and start over with cost-effective, patient-centered healthcare reform, appoint constitutionalist judges to the Supreme Court, secure our southern border and enforce immigration laws, and enact policies that will create more good-paying jobs for the American people,” said Frazier said in a statement.
She denied that Cruz was in the running for a cabinet appointment.
The battle between Cruz and Trump was vicious with both men insisting that the other was a liar. After Cruz dropped out, he ducked questions about whether or not he would support Trump as the Republican nominee. This schism led to an unforgettable moment at the Republican National Convention where Cruz advised conservatives to “vote their conscience,” drawing boos from the delegates. Trump, ever the showman, made a surprise appearance in the final moments of Cruz’s speech, turning the jeers into cheers.
Three months later, Cruz dropped his opposition to Trump, endorsed him, and began working to get him elected.
We will see, however, if the president-elect is ready to let bygones be bygones. Trump clearly did not take kindly to Cruz’s non-endorsement at the convention, and their battle was brutal even by the standards of this election.
Appointing Cruz to the head of the Justice Department, however, would shore up Trump’s support in the Senate’s hard-right wing and do wonders for him in the House’s Freedom Caucus as well. Among elected D.C. Republicans, no one is more of an “outsider” than Cruz, who has repeatedly bashed establishment politicians as the “D.C. cartel.” And it would be an olive branch to the many conservatives who, when the field was down to two serious choices, wanted desperately for Cruz to win the nomination.