Ted Cruz Believes 'Fox News Went All in for Trump' in 2016 Because His Presidency Was Roger Ailes' Dying Wish

Senator Ted Cruz, runner-up for the Republican nomination in 2016, said he believes Fox News "went all in for Trump" during the last presidential election because it was the "dying wish" of Fox News founder and CEO Roger Ailes.

During an interview with PBS' Firing Line With Margaret Hoover on Friday, Cruz discussed his quotes on Trump and Ailes in journalist Tim Alberta's new book American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War.

Hoover noted the book "has described the attitude of Fox News towards you as pugnacious,' it quotes you saying that Roger Ailes, who was the founder of Fox News, that you believed his dying wish was to help elect Donald Trump as President. Is that true?" Hoover asked Cruz.

"I think Fox News went all in for Trump; that was the decision," the senator responded. "I didn't know Roger well, but I think it clearly is what he wanted to do."

When asked why Ailes preferred Trump, Cruz was unable to suggest any clues. "No idea," he said. "I can't tell you that, but I can tell you, starting in about March of 2016, they went all in for Trump. And they made a decision. That was a decision made at the network level, reflected on every show."

Cruz, who Trump famously nicknamed "Lyin' Ted," refused to endorse Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention after the Texas senator dropped out of the heated primary.

Ailes resigned from the network in 2016 following a slew of sexual misconduct allegations brought against him by multiple women. He later died in 2017 at the age of 77.

Following Ailes' resignation, Trump, the then-Republican presidential nominee, defended the former CEO and chairman of Fox News. "Roger is — I mean, what he's done on television, in the history of television, he's gotta be placed in the top three or four or five," Trump said during an interview with NBC's Meet the Press, adding that his decision to leave the network was "too bad."

"Some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he's helped them," he said. "Now all of a sudden, they are saying these horrible things about him; it's very sad because he's a very good person."

Media observers credit Ailes, who transformed Fox News into America's most-watched cable news network, with Trump's successful journey from a New York real estate mogul and reality TV star to the Oval Office.

"It's hard to really overestimate the influence [Ailes] had on the media and the political landscape," Betsy West, a professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, and formerly the senior vice-president at CBS News, said, shortly after Ailes' death in 2017, according to The Guardian. "In many ways, it's a straight line to our very polarized news landscape today, where people on either ends of the political spectrum can't agree on basic facts."

Ted Cruz Ailes
Sen. Ted Cruz on Friday talked about Fox News favoring Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election. PBS/Screenshot
Ted Cruz Believes 'Fox News Went All in for Trump' in 2016 Because His Presidency Was Roger Ailes' Dying Wish | Politics