Sen. Ted Cruz, a tea party favorite and possible presidential contender, told CNBC on Thursday the only way the GOP can win the White House in 2016 is to run a strong conservative candidate.
"We need to learn from history," the Texas Republican said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "If Republicans run another candidate in the mold of a Bob Dole or a John McCain or a Mitt Romney ... we will end up with the same result, which is millions of people will stay home on Election Day."
"If we run another candidate like that," he continued, "Hillary Clinton will be the next president."
In political circles, many believe the former secretary of State will again seek the Democratic nomination for president, though she has not said either way yet. Hillary Clinton lost the nomination in 2008 to Barack Obama.