"And now I am happy to answer or dodge any question you like," joked Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx.).
This was right before he began a question and answer session after a small speech at The Federalist Society. After several questions, one audience member in particular wanted an answer to the question on everybody's mind when it came to Cruz's future.
"During the course of the campaign — particularly the primary — I did imagine you in another capacity," began the audience member.
"So did I," interrupted Cruz, causing the crowd to laugh.
"I'm wondering now," continued the audience member. "If perhaps that ninth seat...any possibility?"
Cruz waited for the applause to die before answering.
"What I will say that history is long, and can take unexpected paths," replied Cruz. "I think it is absolutely vital that that seat and every other seat that becomes vacant on the court be filled by principled constitutionalists who will be faithful to the law, and will check their own policy preferences at the door, and simply honor their oath."
"I can also tell you that I have, right now, the privilege of serving in the United States senate representing 27 million Texans. That is a privilege and a responsibility I take very, very seriously," continued Cruz. "And I look forward to continuing to carry out that responsibility, and continuing to fight for the principles of freedom, and the principles embodied in the constitution, and bill of rights. They are very much in jeopardy right now, and I — like I suspect many of you — am very excited by the very historic opportunity we have been given right now, and I look forward to working very hard to make the most of this opportunity. To make the biggest difference for our country."
Perhaps that's the dodge Cruz was counting on doing, because that wasn't exactly a no. While Cruz's comment about continuing to serve in the Texas senate can be taken as an unwillingness to head to the highest court in the land, the rest of his comments have a very optimistic feel to them. The responsibility he mentioned bled right into his talk about his excitement about filling the vacant seat.
Time will tell, but for many conservatives, putting Ted Cruz in a seat on the Supreme Court has been something of a dream. If President-elect Donald Trump is looking for a candidate, he'd please his conservative base greatly with this nomination.
Watch Cruz's statements below: