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Ted Cruz Went To Washington To Run For President, John Cornyn Says

Jeff Whittington
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, at right, talks with KERA's Krys Boyd.

Sen. John Cornyn says that while he has a "good working relationship" with Sen. Ted Cruz, his Texas colleague in the Senate went to Washington to run for president.

Cornyn talked with KERA's Krys Boyd in the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington.

“He and I agree on most things, particularly when it comes to substance,” Cornyn said.

Cornyn said he and Cruz work together on a regular basis, but they've had "differences on tactics" or how to accomplish goals, he told KERA.

“Part of it [is] from the fact that I’ve been here a while and I’m part of the elected Republican leadership," Cornyn said. "My goal has always been to figure out how we can advance the conservative cause.”

“I think he’s taken the more immediate shorter-term view of things,” Cornyn continued. “Clearly, he didn’t come here to remain in the Senate. He came here to run for president. I think that perhaps explains the difference in tactics.”

Cornyn: No primary endorsement

Cornyn said Cruz has not asked him for an endorsement. Would he consider endorsing Cruz if he asked?

“I don’t really think it’s appropriate for me to be picking and choosing in the primaries,” Cornyn said. “One thing, it’s pretty dumb politics for a Republican to choose between Republicans in a contested primary because obviously you’re going to be offending some people.”

But there are other reasons for not picking a candidate during the primary season, Cornyn said.

“I just think the mood of the country is now that people don’t necessarily want an elected official to tell them how they ought to cast their vote," Cornyn said. "Matter of fact it’s the opposite and they want to express themselves and they have a right to and I’ll respect their choice.” 

The extended interview

Listen to the full interview with Cornyn:

The extended interview with Sen. Cornyn.

About 'Think' in D.C.

All this week, KERA's "Think" is broadcasting live from NPR Headquarters in Washington. On Tuesday, Krys Boyd talked about the Supreme Court with NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg and Amy Howe, editor of SCOTUS blog. Listen to that conversation here.

Follow along on social media with #ThinkInDC.

Stephen Becker is senior producer of the Think show , which airs on more than 25 stations across Texas and beyond. Prior to joining the Think team in 2013, as part of the Art&Seek team, Stephen produced radio and digital stories and hosted "The Big Screen" — a weekly radio segment about North Texas film — with Chris Vognar. His 2011 story about the history of eight-track tapes was featured nationally on NPR's All Things Considered. His works has been recognized with numerous state and national awards.