Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Thursday suggested Fox News had a role to play in facilitating presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump's success and warned that it "will bear that responsibility going forward."
The former presidential candidate was asked on a conservative radio show in Houston whether he felt he was treated unfairly by Fox News, after he slammed the network's executives earlier this month for turning it "into the Donald Trump network, 24/7."
"Well, listen, there's time for recriminations. Everyone who was responsible for the rise of Donald Trump, they will bear that responsibility going forward," he said.
"But there were more than a few players who played a disproportionate role in that rise," he added, refusing to pin the blame solely on the cable news network.
Before he dropped out of the GOP presidential race last week, clearing the way for Trump to become the presumptive nominee, the Texas senator suggested that executives at Fox News gave Trump wall-to-wall coverage to support his candidacy.
“There is a broader dynamic at work, which is network executives have made a decision to get behind Donald Trump. Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes at Fox News have turned Fox News into the Donald Trump network, 24/7,” Cruz said at a press conference on the eve of the Indiana primary.
"Media executives are trying to convince Hoosiers, trying to convince Americans the race is decided. You have no choice. You are stuck between Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, either one of which is a horrific choice for this country.”
Fox News, as well as other cable news networks, have faced criticism for giving Trump a disproportionate amount of airtime and for leaving his controversial and inconsistent policy proposals unchallenged.
Cruz returned to the Senate this week, and unlike some of his colleagues, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), has yet to back Trump.
His comments on Thursday suggest he is still not ready to back his party's presumptive nominee, which could make it difficult for Trump to pick up Cruz's supporters and for the party to unify ahead of the general election.
When asked to evaluate his own campaign, Cruz praised the evangelicals and conservatives who supported him and made no indication that he plans to endorse Trump soon.
"My one regret is that we came up short. I'm very sorry to have disappointed so many grassroots conservatives who just poured their hearts into this, and I wish the outcome had been different," he said. "But I have incredible optimism in the future of this country ... The conservative movement is strong and thriving."
Editor's note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.