Farenthold Won’t Say Whether Cruz Should Face GOP Challenge in 2018

Says he's mad at Cruz for not honoring pledge to endorse GOP nominee

Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold still has a bone to pick with Sen. Ted Cruz. (Bill Clark/Roll Call file photo)
Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold still has a bone to pick with Sen. Ted Cruz. (Bill Clark/Roll Call file photo)
Posted September 6, 2016 at 8:52am

Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold said it is up to voters whether Sen. Ted Cruz should face a primary challenge in two years.

In an interview Monday on MSNBC, Farenthold criticized the Texas Republican senator for not endorsing Donald Trump after pledging during the primaries that he would support the Republican presidential nominee.

“The American people are being lied to by Washington politicians — it explains why Donald Trump is so popular,” Farenthold said “And here Ted Cruz comes out, says he’s going to endorse the eventual nominee and doesn’t. So I think Texans are upset about it.”

Asked if Cruz should be challenged by another Republican when he’s up for re-election in 2018, Farenthold said, “I think that is up to the voters. I’m mad with him. He’s going to have to earn my vote back.”

There has been speculation that former Gov. Rick Perry or Rep. Michael McCaul might challenge Cruz in 2018.

[Cruz Destructive, Ego-Mad, Furious Lawmakers Say]

Cruz angered many of his GOP congressional colleagues by pushing Congress into the government shutdown in 2013.

He especially grated on many Republicans after his refusal to endorse Trump at the Republican National Convention in July, with Indiana Sen. Dan Coats saying at the time that Cruz “tried to destroy the Republican Party tonight just like he’s tried to destroy the Republican caucus.”

Simone Pathe contributed to this report.