Days after Sen. Ted Cruz was included on President Donald Trump’s new list of potential Supreme Court nominees, the Texas Republican says that he does not want the job.
While Cruz noted that it is “humbling” to be included on the President’s list, “it’s not the desire of my heart,” he told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on Sunday.
“I want to be in the political fight,” Cruz explained. “I want to be fighting to nominate and confirm three, four, five principled constitutionalist justices, but that’s not where I want to serve. I want to stay fighting right where I am in the US Senate.”
The comments make Cruz the second of the three conservative Republican senators on the list to deflect the high court buzz.
Sen. Josh Hawley, the junior senator from Missouri, tweeted Wednesday that although he appreciates the President’s confidence in him, “as I told the President, Missourians elected me to fight for them in the Senate, and I have no interest in the high court. I look forward to confirming constitutional conservatives.”
On the other hand, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, another new addition to the list, responded to the news in a tweet saying he “will always heed the call of service to our nation.”
Cotton also tweeted Wednesday that “It’s time for Roe v. Wade to go,” a reference to the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationwide, and possible nod to Trump’s own anti-abortion stance. Trump, who opposes abortion rights and gun regulations, warned after the list’s unveiling that “our cherished rights are at risk including the right to life and our great Second Amendment.”
The new list includes the three senators, former US solicitors general Paul Clement and Noel Francisco, and judges Trump has nominated to the lower courts. Trump said the new names would be added to previous lists that include Judges Amy Coney Barrett and Amul Thapar, who are considered frontrunners should a vacancy arise.
CNN’s Ariane de Vogue and Joan Biskupic contributed to this report.