- Texas senator ran unsuccessfully against Trump in primary
- Trump gave Cruz the name ‘Lyin Ted’ during Republican contest
President-elect Donald Trump is considering nominating Texas Senator Ted Cruz to serve as U.S. attorney general, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Cruz, 45, was at Trump Tower in New York on Tuesday. When approached by reporters on his way out, Cruz said the election was a mandate for change but didn’t say he was under consideration for a job.
Cruz unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination. He and Trump were at odds during the primary, viciously attacking one another. Trump nicknamed Cruz “Lyin’ Ted.” Cruz didn’t endorse Trump during a speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. In September, relations between the two men seemed to improve when Cruz said he would vote for Trump.
Asked for comment, Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said, “Cruz is focused on serving Texans in the Senate. He was there today to offer help in promoting the conservative policies that were campaigned on and that he’s long fought for.”
Amid power struggles that have hindered the Trump team’s efforts to form a new government, Trump took to Twitter late Tuesday and early Wednesday to defend the process.
“Very organized process taking place as I decide on Cabinet and many other positions. I am the only one who knows who the finalists are!” Trump wrote. “It is going so smoothly.”
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was initially discussed as a potential attorney general but now is being discussed as a possible secretary of state pick.
Cruz, a champion debater at Princeton, earned a Harvard law degree before clerking for Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist. After private practice, he advised George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign, then took posts in his administration.
Appointed solicitor general of Texas in 2003, Cruz argued nine cases before the Supreme Court. He won an underdog bid for U.S. Senate in 2012. In Washington, he developed a reputation as stubborn and uncompromising. His opposition to Obamacare helped lead to a partial government showdown in 2013. He once called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a liar on the chamber’s floor, and former House Speaker John Boehner once called Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh” and the most “miserable son of a bitch” he had ever worked with.
Grassroots adoration propelled Cruz to become the first major candidate to declare a 2016 presidential campaign, and he defeated Trump in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses before Republican voters’ enthusiasm for the billionaire New Yorker overtook him.