Cruz: I Regret Supporting 'Liberal' Chief Justice John Roberts

At the second Republican presidential primary debate Wednesday, Texas Senator Ted Cruz expressed "regret" for supporting the nomination of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who he said turned out to be a "liberal."

The comment came after moderator Jake Tapper asked Jeb Bush if he believed his brother had made a mistake in appointing Roberts, who has repeatedly disappointed conservatives, particularly in twice defending Obamacare.

While Bush noted that Roberts had made some decisions he agreed with, he clearly expressed his disapproval, explaining that if elected president he would nominate only justices with proven conservative records. The former Florida governor argued that the real problem with the nomination process is that it has been so politicized that candidates who lack strong judicial records, like Roberts, are often appointed. 

"We need to make sure that we have justices with a proven, experienced record of respect for upholding the Constitution," he said.

When Bush pointed out that Cruz had supported Roberts' nomination, the Texas senator said he regretted supporting the "liberal" justice. 

"It is true that after George W. Bush nominated John Roberts I supported his confirmation. That was a mistake and I regret that," said Cruz. "I wouldn't have nominated John Roberts and indeed Governor [Jeb] Bush pointed out why. It wasn't that President Bush wanted to appoint a liberal to the court. It is that it was the easier choice."

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee stated that any justice he would support would have to meet his conservative litmus test, particularly on abortion. 

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