. A visibly tired Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, seemed buoyed by his enthusiastic reception at Regent University Friday evening, telling the audience at a town hall forum that his campaign hangs in the balance of what happens on Tuesday, when 11 states, including Virginia, choose among GOP presidential candidates.
“The next four days are critical,” he said to a packed crowd as the featured speaker at one of the evangelical Christian university’s Presidential Candidate Forums. “Super Tuesday I believe will be the most important day in this entire election.”
Cruz, whose voice sounded strained from constant campaigning, is in Georgia and Arkansas Saturday, Arkansas and Oklahoma Sunday and Texas and Minnesota Monday before finishing his swing in Texas on Super Tuesday.
As GOP candidates try to stop the juggernaut of billionaire Donald Trump, Cruz said that “it is possible Donald Trump will steamroll through.”
“I hope that does not happen,” said Cruz, who is positioning himself as the Trump alternative, the only candidate who has beaten the New York developer with a decisive win in Iowa. “That is a very dangerous outcome.”
Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., attacked Trump Thursday night in the GOP debate in Houston but he is still leading in most Super Tuesday states.
Trump finished second in the first-in-the-nation caucuses but went on to win the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries and the Nevada caucuses, where Cruz placed third.
Cruz has an ace-in-the-hole: Texas, which is the biggest prize on Super Tuesday. His home state has 155 delegates and while polls are mixed, showing him both leading Trump and in a virtual tie, the Texas senator said he expected to pick up delegates in his home state, which apportions them according to a formula of how well a candidate performs.
“I’m very encouraged where we are in Texas,” Cruz told Rev. Pat Robertson, the founder and eminence grise of Regent University, who interviewed him after Cruz gave a short speech about his goals for the presidency. “I think we’re going to have a very, very good night.”
Asked by Robertson about his path to the nomination, Cruz said, “I think Super Tuesday is going to be critical for that.”
Cruz stopped short of saying he would win Texas but said he was likely to win a “significant” number of delegates. He said there was a likely scenario when both he and Trump would have a “big chunk” of delegates after Super Tuesday. “I hope this forces us into a two-man race,” he said.
In a personal moment, Cruz revealed that his parents had been volunteers for Robertson in his 1988 presidential campaign - a “reveal” that delighted the televangelist who said, “that shows how smart your family is.”
Cruz, a lawyer who was solicitor general of Texas, spoke of the Supreme Court after the recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia and how “we are one liberal justice away” from losing conservative cases. Many high-profile cases have been decided 5-4. “His passing underscores that this presidential election is about two branches of government,” he said.
Regent University is a Christian evangelical institution founded by Robertson. Ohio Gov. John Kasich spoke at a forum last year, former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush appeared earlier this month, Trump spoke Wednesday night and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson will speak Monday.