Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) has made no surrogate appearances for Donald Trump since his controversial decision to endorse the Republican nominee. On Wednesday, he hinted at the limits of his support, speaking to Republicans in Tarrant County in Texas and phone-banking for the ticket.
“Hi, this is Ted Cruz calling,” Cruz said, in a recording by Dallas Morning News photographer G.J. McCarthy. “I was calling to encourage you to come out and vote on Election Day. This election is critical for the direction of our country, and I urge you to come out to support freedom, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights."
At no point did Cruz mention the name of the party's presidential nominee.
Ted Cruz didn't have much luck getting live human on line while making calls at Rep HQ's in FTW today, left this voicemail a few times. pic.twitter.com/rYxZ7Aabg0
— G.J. McCarthy (@gjmccarthy) October 5, 2016
Talking to reporters at the same event, Cruz couched his Trump endorsement in the same terms he'd used in the two excruciating interviews he'd given since the endorsement, one with the Texas Tribune's Evan Smith and one with erstwhile supporter Glenn Beck. “A year ago, I stood on stage and promised to support the Republican nominee, whoever that was, and I am honoring my word,” Cruz said, according to Dallas's Fox 4.
Cruz's appearance came as the spare polling of Texas's presidential contest finds Trump leading, but by the smallest margin for a Republican since Bob Dole's 1996 run. Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.), the Democrats' vice-presidential candidate, has made two Texas trips and added public appearances on top of fundraising responsibilities. Trump is returning to the state this week for additional fundraising.