Cruz eyes Rubio, Trump ahead of New Hampshire

Story highlights

  • Texas Sen. Ted Cruz spoke to CNN's Dana Bash just after winning the Iowa caucuses Monday night
  • Cruz's next stop is New Hampshire where he sees Donald Trump and Marco Rubio as chief opponents

Washington (CNN)Shortly after Ted Cruz won the Iowa caucuses Monday night, he was already aiming for a strong showing in New Hampshire and cautioned Republicans against choosing Marco Rubio or Donald Trump.

"We're going to stay focused on making the case to the American people that we can't have another 'campaign conservative,' " Cruz told CNN's Dana Bash in an interview aired on "New Day."
"We've seen these in the Republican primary over and over again -- people who talk a good game, people who say they'll defend conservative principles, then they get elected and then they don't do it," Cruz said.
    Prior to Monday's results, Trump was the front-runner to win New Hampshire -- but the Texas senator was optimistic after he upset the billionaire businessman in Iowa.
    "There's an old line: 'There's two ways to run: scared and unopposed,' " Cruz said. "I'm not unopposed, there's still a bunch of people in this race. So from our end, we're flying to New Hampshire and we're gonna work every day to win the votes of the men and women of New Hampshire."
    As of early Tuesday morning with 99% of the vote reported, Cruz had 28% of caucus attendees tallied, followed by Trump with 24% and Rubio with a surprisingly strong 23%.
    Cruz got in a shot on the Florida senator.
    "I recognize that folks may want to talk about the third place finish. And that's fine, you can talk about that, I'm focused on our victory tonight," Cruz said.
    Cruz was largely credited with building the best ground organization among Republicans in Iowa and he dedicated a fair amount of time there, completing the "full Grassley" -- a tour of all 99 Iowa counties, named after Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley.
    But Cruz credited his "grassroots army" with Monday's upset win and said he would be accountable to them.
    "It is breathtaking to see what happens when so many Americans stand up and decide they're fed up with what happens in Washington and they want something different. They want a leader they can trust, they want a leader that stands for them against the corruption of Washington," Cruz said.