Cruz Shreds Media for Wanting ‘Coronation’ of Trump as GOP Nominee So He Can Lose to Hillary

Republican presidential candidate and Senator Ted Cruz (Tex.) sat for an interview with CBS’s John Dickerson Friday afternoon in National Harbor, Maryland that aired on Face the Nation. Cruz lambasted the media for “hav[ing] a coronation” of Donald Trump as the GOP nominee so he could be viciously defeated by Hillary Clinton in November. 

While discussing the possibility of a brokered Republican National Convention, Cruz pointed to how he’s remained close to Trump in the delegate count but at the same time, “the media wants to just have a coronation” of Trump “because the media knows Donald can't win the general, that Hillary would wallop him.”

Dickerson was unsuccessful in interjecting while Cruz continued to rip the media’s well documented attempts to push Trump on Republican primary voters despite what many foresee as a less than fruitful result for the party in November:

Donald may be the only person on the face of the planet that Hillary Clinton can beat and all of the attacks on Donald that the media is not talking about now, you better believe, come September, October, November, if he were the nominee, every day on the nightly news would be taking Donald apart and the stakes are too high for us to risk that.

The CBS News political director eventually forced his way in and offered the defense that the media collective didn’t believe that Trump would “get this far” and Cruz agreed that few saw Trump coming, but added that once Trump rose to the top, the liberal media have done all they could to hang on his every word:

The media has given Donald Trump hundreds of millions of dollars of free advertising. When you put Donald — when every press conference is carried live on every television station, and you essentially have a massive in-kind contribution from the media, that’s helped create this phenomenon[.]

Similarly to how Democrat Hillary Clinton surprised Dickerson when she admitted she was pleased a former staffer was granted immunity by the FBI to cooperate in her private e-mail server investigation, Cruz dropped this hammer on Dickerson by touting rumors he’s heard that reporters have numerous negative stories on Trump that they’ve held off on publishing:

CRUZ: I think an awful lot of reporters — I can't tell you how many media outlets I hear, you know, have this great expose on Donald, on different aspects of his business dealings, or his past, but they said, you know what, we're going to hold it to June or July. We're not going to run it now.

DICKERSON: You're saying reporters have told you that? They have told —

CRUZ: Absolutely. We have gotten multiple —

DICKERSON: — and from which organizations have they told you?

CRUZ: You know, look, I'm not going to out media outlets, but I can tell you there is so much there. When was the last time people are bringing up his tax returns, for example? We had a debate last night, didn't hear a word about his tax returns. 

Tell the Truth 2016

Again defending the media’s handling of Trump, Dickerson complained that Cruz himself “could have brought” these matters to the surface and Cruz noted that he has plus other figures like Mitt Romney who’s suggested that there’s a “bombshell” in Trump’s tax returns. 

At the conclusion of the two-part interview, Cruz maintained:

You know, I promise you, come the general election, that will be the singular focus of the media and I think Republicans, we have been burned by that before. We're not interested in losing again, particularly when the stakes, I think, are catastrophic.

Editor’s Note: This writer attended the event in which this taped interview was conducted.

The relevant portion of the transcript from CBS’s Face the Nation on March 6 can be found below.

CBS’s Face the Nation
March 6, 2016
10:51 a.m. Eastern

JOHN DICKERSON: But any of these conversations in terms of jointly acting to deny him, not coming together behind Ted Cruz?

REPUBLICAN SENATOR TED CRUZ (Tex.): Look, my focus is very simple. It is on winning 1,237 delegates to be the Republican nominee. We are on a path to do so. Coming out of Super Tuesday, fewer than a hundred delegates separate Donald Trump and me and so as much as the media wants to just have a coronation and, listen, frankly, one of the reasons the media wants Donald to be the nominee is because the media knows Donald can't win the general, that Hillary would wallop him.

DICKERSON: But the media —

CRUZ: Donald may be the only person on the face of the planet that Hillary Clinton can beat and all of the attacks on Donald that the media is not talking about now, you better believe, come September, October, November, if he were the nominee, every day on the nightly news would be taking Donald apart and the stakes are too high for us to risk that.

DICKERSON: The media also thought that he wasn't going to get this far, so, that's hardly —

CRUZ: That's true at first, but let's be clear. The media has given Donald Trump hundreds of millions of dollars of free advertising. When you put Donald — when every press conference is carried live on every television station, and you essentially have a massive in-kind contribution from the media, that’s helped create this phenomenon and then I think an awful lot of reporters — I can't tell you how many media outlets I hear, you know, have this great expose on Donald, on different aspects of his business dealings, or his past, but they said, you know what, we're going to hold it to June or July. We're not going to run it now.

DICKERSON: You're saying reporters have told you that? They have told —

CRUZ: Absolutely. We have gotten multiple —

DICKERSON: — and from which organizations have they told you?

CRUZ: You know, look, I'm not going to out media outlets, but I can tell you there is so much there. When was the last time people are bringing up his tax returns, for example? We had a debate last night, didn't hear a word about his tax returns. Every other serious candidate —

DICKERSON: Well, you could have brought it up.

CRUZ: I could have and I do often, but as Mitt Romney rightly observed, the fact that Donald won't hand over his tax returns suggests there's a bombshell in there. The fact that journalists are not raising the question of what Donald Trump told The New York Times editorial board, the reports are —

DICKERSON: But the journalists brought it up, which gave you the platform to talk about it. So, surely they are. BuzzFeed wrote about it, so they are talking about it.

CRUZ: You know, I promise you, come the general election, that will be the singular focus of the media and I think Republicans, we have been burned by that before. We're not interested in losing again, particularly when the stakes, I think, are catastrophic.

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center