Cruz On Conference Call: I’ll Win, But Attacks Are Coming

Ted Cruz answers a question during the CNN Republican Presidential Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California on Sept. 16, 2015.

WASHINGTON — (CNN) Ted Cruz on Thursday told campaign volunteers that he believed it is likely that he would win the Republican primary by the end of March, predicting a “90-day sprint” to begin on the first day of the New Year that will boost him to the nomination — and to be ready for attacks from all sides.

It was a bold declaration from a candidate who despite his fundraising advantages and favorable early-state polling, trails Donald Trump solidly in the national horserace. Senior GOP officials have begun pondering aloud about whether the chaotic 2016 race will not be settled until the Republican National Convention in July.

“There is a very good possibility that the Republican primary will be decided by the end of March,” Cruz said on a year-end conference call with volunteers, adding as always that he expects to be the nominee. “First thing tomorrow, we’ve got a 90-day sprint to get the job done.”

Cruz’s campaign is aiming for top performances on March 1, when much of the Cruz-friendly South votes and on the single day on the GOP calendar with the most delegates at stake.

The Texas senator also boasted of attacks heading their way from the Republican field as the latest sign of his political strength. Over recent weeks, as many as five independent groups have spent money trashing him on airwaves or in mailboxes, with some groups pledging much more to come.

“If we were sitting here on December 31 and no one was attacking us, or looking to be attacking us, I would be deeply, deeply concerned,” he told volunteers, encouraging them to “strap on the full armor of God.”

Interspersed with thank-yous to the campaign’s volunteers and encouragements to open their checkbooks a little wider, the campaign made some candid assessments of the state of the race.

Several Republicans with ties to the establishment have indicated they are warming to Cruz given the threat of Trump. And Cruz’s team recognizes that: political director Mark Campbell noted “with great fascination” that the party’s establishment wing is “coming to us as an alternative to Donald Trump.”

“We wish Donald Trump a happy New Year and hope has a wonderful holiday season, but all of us believe firmly that Ted Cruz will” win, Campbell said.

The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2015 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

(Photo: CNN)

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