WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/CBS News) — As Republican voters took to the polls in Nebraska and West Virginia Tuesday, Ted Cruz on Tuesday left the door slightly open to resuming his presidential candidacy if he suddenly finds a narrow path to winning the nomination.
In an interview on Glenn Beck’s radio program hosted by The Blaze, the Texas senator was asked if he would consider restarting his campaign if Nebraska’s Republican voters miraculously chose him on Tuesday as their preferred GOP nominee.
“Well, I am not holding my breath. My assumption is that will not happen,” he said on his way to the airport to head back to Washington. “But listen, let’s be very clear — if there is a path to victory, we launched this campaign intending to win. The reason we suspended the race last week is with Indiana’s loss, I didn’t see a viable path to victory. If that changes, we will certainly respond accordingly.”
Cruz was back in Washington on Tuesday, but he said again that his campaign was only suspended.
“Listen, we have suspended the campaign. We have suspended the campaign because I can see no viable path to victory. Of course, if that changed we would reconsider things,” he said.
Cruz dropped out of the Republican presidential race a week ago, after losing Indiana to Trump in a landslide.
“And so with a heavy heart, but with boundless optimism, for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign,” Cruz said.
“From the beginning I said I would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory. Tonight, I am sorry to say, it appears that path has been foreclosed,” Cruz said. “Together we left it all on the field in Indiana. We gave it everything we’ve got, but the voters chose another path.”
He continued, “But hear me now, I am not suspending our fight for liberty.”
Republican contender John Kasich dropped out a day later and Trump became the presumptive GOP nominee.
In the Republican race, 34 delegates are up for grabs in West Virginia, and 36 will be available in Nebraska. Delegates in West Virginia may specify their intention to be committed to a candidate and delegates in Virginia are distributed through a winner-take-all system.
While Trump is considered the presumptive nominee, he hasn’t reached the required threshold of 1,237 delegates yet to win the nomination. He has 1,065 delegates and Cruz had picked up 561, according to CBS News’ latest count.
Asked if he could support Trump in the general election, Cruz dodged the question.
“Well listen this is a choice every voter is going to have to make. I would note it’s not a choice we the voters have to make today. The Republican convention isn’t for another two and a half months. The election isn’t for another six months. You and I both want to support a conservative,” he said. “You and I both want to see a president we can trust with power who demonstrates the temperament not to abuse that power, that’s what elections are about. The voters in the primary seem 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.”
CBS News’ Alan He contributed to this report.