BLOOMINGDALE, Georgia — Despite exchanging frequent jabs this week, Ted Cruz praised Senate colleague Marco Rubio on Saturday, calling him a “talented leader” and saying he could “of course” see a role for Rubio in a Cruz administration.
“Marco is a very, very talented leader. He’s a friend of mine, he’s charming, he’s an incredible communicator,” Cruz said at a campaign event here, showering Rubio with compliments after the two have been verbally sparring this week over past votes on immigration, a subject that was hotly debated at Tuesday’s GOP debate.
Cruz said that “any Republican president would be a fool” not to include a “substantial portion” of the current GOP field in a future administration. He said he hoped he would be the one to win the nomination and the White House so that he could continue “to work with these extraordinary leaders from across the country.”
Cruz added that “of course” he could see Rubio working in his administration, though he did not elaborate on what kind of role Rubio would play.
In a follow-up question, Cruz pivoted back to his defensive tone that he’s been pushing this week after Rubio questioned a vote Cruz made in 2013 regarding a bipartisan immigration bill.
“It is not surprising that other candidates are throwing rocks at us,” he said, adding, “It is not surprising there are other candidates in the Republican field that are choosing to launch attacks our direction and choosing to launch false attacks our direction. That, unfortunately, is often part of the political process.”
Cruz answered questions during a media gaggle on a tranquil berry farm, where hundreds of supporters showed up in the misty morning to hear the senator speak. He’s on an “SEC primary” tour, hitting up southern states such as Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee and Oklahoma.