Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) watched bitterly as Fox News threw its support behind Donald Trump's presidential campaign, according to a new book.
Tim Alberta, chief political correspondent of Politico, detailed Cruz's frustration with the conservative news network during his own 2016 presidential bid in the forthcoming book, American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump, which was excerpted by The Guardian.
Cruz reportedly told friends that Roger Ailes, who died four months after Trump's inauguration, wanted to make sure the real estate developer and former reality TV star would be elected president.
“I think it was Roger’s dying wish to elect Donald Trump president,” Cruz said, according to Alberta.
Cruz and Ailes had previously been close, and frequently eating breakfast together in New York, but the network boss stopped taking the senator's calls by the start of 2016, weeks ahead of the Iowa caucuses.
Staffers recalled Cruz's outburst after he beat Trump 48 percent to 34 percent in the Wisconsin primary, and Fox News host Sean Hannity went on the air to assure viewers that Trump would perform better in upcoming primaries in New York, the Northeast, Indiana and West Virginia.
"What the f*ck?" Cruz said, leaping from his seat, according to staffers.
Cruz vowed there was “no way in hell” he would endorse Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention, saying: “History isn’t kind to the man who holds Mussolini’s jacket.”
The Texas Republican was booed off the stage at the RNC in July 2016, when he pointedly refused to back Trump and urged GOP voters to "vote your conscience."
But he reversed himself just two months later, in September 2016, and threw his support behind the candidate who had insulted his wife and accused his father of being involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
"After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience, I have decided that on Election Day, I will vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump," Cruz said at the time.