Appearing on ABC’s live Super Tuesday coverage, Ted Cruz openly mocked former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos. A skeptical Stephanopoulos questioned Cruz’s path to the nomination, despite his wins in Oklahoma and Texas: “Marco Rubio is staying in the race. John Kasich is staying in the race. Ben Carson is staying in the race.”
The sarcastic Texas senator retorted, “If we unify, head-to-head, our campaign beats Donald soundly. And for everyone concerned about the best interest of the Republican Party, if Donald is the nominee, in all likelihood, your former boss Hillary Clinton becomes the president.”
Stephanopoulos responded to this with a forced smile. Technically speaking Bill Clinton was the ABC host’s old boss in the White House. But the point is well taken. In his autobiography, Stephanopoulos recounted Mrs. Clinton saying, “I love you, George Stephanopoulos.” He replied, “I love you, too.”
More famously, the journalist secretly donated $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation while covering the Clintons.
A transcript is below:
ABC Super Tuesday coverage
TED CRUZ: We need to build a coalition, a team to ensure that the Republican nominee is a conservative and a candidate who will do what he says he will do.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator, that is what you’re calling for. That is what you’re calling for, but Marco Rubio is staying in the race. John Kasich is staying in the race. Ben Carson is staying in the race.
CRUZ: Well, you know, George, every candidate will have to reflect on where the race is, will have to give it prayerful consideration. But what is clear is if the race remains divided, Donald Trump's path to the nomination is much more likely. Whereas if we unify, if it’s, head-to-head, our campaign beats Donald soundly. And for everyone concerned about the best interest of the Republican Party, if Donald is the nominee in all likelihood, your former boss Hillary Clinton becomes the president. In all likelihood, Republicans lose the Senate. In all likelihood, we get our clock cleaned up and down the ballot. We lose the Supreme Court for a generation. We lose the Bill of Rights for our kids and grand kids. I think that would be a terrible outcome. So, I hope Republicans make the decision, let’s come together, let’s unite behind the only candidate who has beaten Donald Trump not once, not twice, not three times across the country.
STEPHANOPOULOS: If Donald Trump becomes the nominee, does the Republican Party break apart?
CRUZ: Well, I don’t know about breaking apart, but I don’t think Donald wins.