Ted Cruz said Thursday he will not apologize to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for accusing him of lying last year, despite suggestions from Senate colleagues it would help them unite behind his campaign.
“That ain’t gonna happen,” Cruz told CNN’s Dana Bash in an interview that aired on “Erin Burnett OutFront.” “And if the Washington lobbyists want to see that happen, they can hold their breath a long, long time. My focus is on the American people and uniting Republicans behind shared values and a shared vision.”
Cruz has presented himself as the candidate best poised to unite the Republican Party against Hillary Clinton in November. But he has struggled with his own colleagues in the Senate, winning limited support from Republican senators.
Last year, Cruz accused McConnell of lying while speaking on the Senate floor, repeatedly accusing his fellow Republican of betraying conservatives and charging lawmakers in both parties of being under the grip of K Street lobbyists. It was a rare display of enmity in a place typically reserved for decorum and clear of personal attacks.
Senior Republicans have been asking Cruz to apologize to McConnell so they can unite behind his bid to defeat Donald Trump.
But Cruz did offer some kind words for McConnell Thursday.
“Now I will tell you this, I am happy to praise Mitch McConnell and praise him effusively for his stand, along with (Senate Judiciary Chairman) Chuck Grassley, saying we are not going to hold hearings on a replacement” to the Supreme Court, Cruz told Bash. “Mitch McConnell’s doing the right thing, Chuck Grassley’s doing the right thing, and I’m proud to commend them. I’ve done so publicly many times.”