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Ted Cruz is refusing to spar with Donald Trump in front of the country, and tonight, he told Bret Baier his side.

Asked why he has hesitated to attack Trump, Cruz said it was not about caving in to political pressure.

“The Washington establishment desperately wants Donald and me to engage in a cage match, and I don’t think that’s beneficial to the country,” he explained on “Special Report.”

The Texas senator credited his fellow front-runner with creating “a lot of excitement, a lot of enthusiasm, people showing up.”

Cruz added, however, "I don’t believe Donald is going to be our nominee."

He said it's important that those Trump supporters show up on Election Day, whether Trump is the nominee or not.

“I want every one of those supporters showing up in November 2016, so we beat Hillary Clinton and win the general election.”

Watch the presidential contender’s wide-ranging interview with Bret above, where he speaks out on immigration reform, national security and his recent exchange with Sen. Marco Rubio.

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