Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) signaled on Tuesday that he isn't quite ready to endorse presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, the man who questioned his faith, mocked his wife's appearance, demeaned his father, and pushed unsubstantiated rumors of infidelity that originated in tabloids.
"I think we need to watch and see what the candidates say and do," the former GOP presidential candidate said in an interview with radio host Glenn Beck, aligning himself with the likes of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who last week called on Trump to moderate his tone and remain faithful to conservative principles.
Cruz further took aim at the brash real estate mogul without mentioning him by name, suggesting the party's presumptive standard bearer wasn't worthy of the title.
“I’m still a little old-fashioned in thinking we ought to look up to our president," he said. "We ought to be proud if our kids want to be like the president."
Trump, he continued, is a "phenomenon heavily fueled by media executives who have run him 24/7."
The conservative senator did not rule out jumping back into the race, either. Cruz's name will appear on primary ballots in Nebraska on Tuesday, and he said he would "respond accordingly" if he received enough votes in the state to indicate he might have a path to the presidency.
Cruz also poured cold water on the prospect of there being a conservative third-party candidate who would serve as a last-minute bid to deny Trump the presidency.
"It's always talked about," he said. "I don't think it's something that's likely to happen."
For now, Cruz said he is heading back to work in the Senate this week "to listen to the people and fight for the people each and every day."
Trump and Ryan are scheduled to sit down in Washington on Thursday to hash out their differences in hopes of unifying a party badly frayed ahead of November's general election.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist