- The Washington Times - Friday, February 26, 2016

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said after Thursday’s GOP presidential debate that both he and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida are better choices for the White House than Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

“Listen, Marco is not my enemy - Marco and I are friends,” Mr. Cruz said on CNN after the debate. “Marco and I would both make a much better candidate and a much better president than would Donald.”

Both Mr. Rubio and Mr. Cruz directed much of their fire during Thursday’s debate at Mr. Trump, who has racked up wins in three consecutive states and is looking to continue his momentum on Super Tuesday.

But Mr. Cruz, who won the Iowa caucuses earlier this month, also said he’s the only candidate who has beaten and can beat Mr. Trump, pointing out that he’s leading in polls on Texas while Mr. Rubio is trailing Mr. Trump in polling in his own home state of Florida.

“I actually agree that Marco did a good job,” Mr. Cruz said. “He did something tonight that he’s never done, which is he actually, for the first time, took on Donald Trump and I’m glad he did.”

“I was glad to welcome Marco to the debate for the first time, but that should have happened earlier and for whatever reason the other candidates [have] been afraid to tangle with him,” Mr. Cruz said.

Mr. Cruz said the debate provided a lot of clarity and that Mr. Trump is not a good candidate to square off against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

“I think if he’s our nominee, in all likelihood Hillary wins – that’s a very bad outcome for the country,” Mr. Cruz said.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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