Amid this weekend’s bitter fight over Florida races yet to declare a winner, Sen. Ted Cruz on Saturday expressed solidarity for fellow Republicans fearing “an attempt to steal the election.”
“I hope that’s not it. I think everyone needs to be vigilant. Every vote needs to be counted,” the recently re-elected Texas Republican told “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan.
“But at the same time we can’t allow people to be stealing votes and we need to be on guard against that.”
As the fight over a potential recount intensified this week in the Sunshine State, several Republicans raised alarm, without evidence, over fraud in Florida’s razor-thin gubernatorial and Senate races.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson for his seat, accused “unethical liberals” of trying to steal the election.
President Trump later tweeted that state authorities were “looking into another big corruption scandal having to do with Election Fraud,” insisting “Florida voted for Rick Scott!”
Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement later said there were no credible allegations of fraud to investigate.
Regardless, as he departed for his Paris trip Friday, President Trump called the situation “a disgrace,” claiming “all of the sudden, they are finding votes out of nowhere.”
Cruz cited Florida’s controversial election recount history as “reason to be concerned.”
“Broward County, where many of the issues are, are front and center. Broward County was front and center in Bush versus Gore as well. And their history doesn’t give you a great deal of confidence,” Cruz said.
In 2000, Cruz worked on then-presidential candidate George W. Bush’s legal fight over that election’s controversial, weeks-long Florida recount.
On Saturday, Florida’s secretary of state ordered an unprecedented recount in the state’s U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races. After the initial vote tally in both races, less than 0.5 percentage points separated the Democratic and Republican candidates.
Asked whether he was concerned with fraud or merely incompetence in the Florida election, Cruz fingered both as potential culprits.
“It could almost be a bit of both of incompetence and the potential for malfeasance. But any time you have a recount, you have an invitation for people to– to violate the law and try to advance their partisans.”
More from Margaret Brennan’s interview of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, will air
© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.