That’s what the Texas senator told Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly before a crowd of about 250 people at Calvary Baptist Church in Raleigh while hundreds more waited outside. The event, originally planned as a campaign rally, resembled a town-hall style interview with Kelly.
Kelly asked Cruz if he would support a contested convention — where delegate votes are no longer dictated by primary results — in order to stop GOP frontrunner Donald Trump from securing the Republican nomination.
Cruz vehemently denounced the idea.
“It would be absolutely catastrophic to have a brokered convention where they try to parachute in some D.C. establishment candidate — you would see an open revolt,” Cruz said.
The Texas senator insisted he would be able to beat Trump through traditional means.
“We intend to beat Donald Trump, but the way to beat Donald Trump is through the ballot box,” he said.
Cruz also levied attacks against Trump during the interview, accusing him of funding the so-called Gang of Eight who wrote the 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill, which granted undocumented people already in the U.S. a path to citizenship.
“When Marco Rubio was standing with Barack Obama and Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer in pushing the massive Gang of Eight amnesty bill, I stood with millions of Americans and led the fight against amnesty,” Cruz said.
“The bill was finished in 2013 and at that time Donald Trump was not only nowhere to be found, but he was funding the Gang of Eight.”
Some Cruz supporters at the event also nursed concerns about Trump’s trustworthiness and past inconsistency. Marc Edwards, a business owner from Cary, said the biggest difference between Trump and Cruz was Cruz’s honesty.
“Trump, to me, is a complete farce. He’s been caught in multiple lies — he lies on a regular basis about his positions,” Edwards said.
Eli Charette, a student at Wake Technical Community College, said he doesn’t trust Trump’s policy stances.
“I’m sure you saw the debate. A day before, he changes his mind on concepts about his policy issues, and I don’t think that’s rational. He also has a bunch of scandals behind his back and supported Hillary Clinton three years ago,” Charette said.
Trump was not the only target of Cruz’s critique — he also lambasted Congress, calling it “fundamentally broken and dysfunctional.”
Despite a strong showing from the senator on Super Saturday, Trump still has 84 more delegates than Cruz.
“If you think Donald ‘tells it as it is,’ he is telling us he is lying. When I am elected president, I will be the exact same person as I am today,” he said.