We ran a post on Thursday suggesting that Ted Cruz was on the verge of endorsing Donald Trump. (I won’t go into the subsequent feedback I received from Cruz supporters on social media, but yeah, it wasn’t pretty.)
On Friday, multiple sources close to Cruz said he will announce his support as early as today.
Now Cruz is going public with his support for Trump. In a Facebook post, he wrote:
This election is unlike any other in our nation’s history. Like many other voters, I have struggled to determine the right course of action in this general election.
In Cleveland, I urged voters, “please, don’t stay home in November. Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket whom you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”
After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience, I have decided that on Election Day, I will vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.
Cruz explained his reasoning:
Six key policy differences inform my decision. First, and most important, the Supreme Court. For anyone concerned about the Bill of Rights — free speech, religious liberty, the Second Amendment — the Court hangs in the balance. I have spent my professional career fighting before the Court to defend the Constitution. We are only one justice away from losing our most basic rights, and the next president will appoint as many as four new justices. We know, without a doubt, that every Clinton appointee would be a left-wing ideologue. Trump, in contrast, has promised to appoint justices “in the mold of Scalia.”
For some time, I have been seeking greater specificity on this issue, and today the Trump campaign provided that, releasing a very strong list of potential Supreme Court nominees — including Sen. Mike Lee, who would make an extraordinary justice — and making an explicit commitment to nominate only from that list. This commitment matters, and it provides a serious reason for voters to choose to support Trump.
Second, Obamacare. The failed healthcare law is hurting millions of Americans. If Republicans hold Congress, leadership has committed to passing legislation repealing Obamacare. Clinton, we know beyond a shadow of doubt, would veto that legislation. Trump has said he would sign it.
Third, energy. Clinton would continue the Obama administration’s war on coal and relentless efforts to crush the oil and gas industry. Trump has said he will reduce regulations and allow the blossoming American energy renaissance to create millions of new high-paying jobs.
Fourth, immigration. Clinton would continue and even expand President Obama’s lawless executive amnesty. Trump has promised that he would revoke those illegal executive orders.
Fifth, national security. Clinton would continue the Obama administration’s willful blindness to radical Islamic terrorism. She would continue importing Middle Eastern refugees whom the FBI cannot vet to make sure they are not terrorists. Trump has promised to stop the deluge of unvetted refugees.
Sixth, Internet freedom. Clinton supports Obama’s plan to hand over control of the Internet to an international community of stakeholders, including Russia, China, and Iran. Just this week, Trump came out strongly against that plan, and in support of free speech online.
These are six vital issues where the candidates’ positions present a clear choice for the American people.
He added more on Facebook:
Our country is in crisis. Hillary Clinton is manifestly unfit to be president, and her policies would harm millions of Americans. And Donald Trump is the only thing standing in her way.
A year ago, I pledged to endorse the Republican nominee, and I am honoring that commitment. And if you don’t want to see a Hillary Clinton presidency, I encourage you to vote for him.
Thousands — if not millions — of “Cruzers” across America will be disillusioned, bitterly disappointed, or both.
As we reported yesterday, influential radio talk show host Steve Deace is convinced that any level of support from Cruz could actually hurt Trump in the end:
I know the Cruz voters not supporting Trump. They will not change minds because of Cruz, but probably detest Trump all the more. https://t.co/gvPcCKfB4o
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) September 22, 2016
The larger issue for Cruz is what impact an endorsement of his once ‘bitter foe’ would have on his chances in 2020, when he’s widely expected to run again.
Former Cruz aide Amanda Carpenter says there’s a lot at stake:
“If Cruz were to ever do this, it would be imperative that he describe what changed in regard to Trump’s actions that allowed Cruz to finally ‘vote his conscience.’ And, that’s a hard case to make.”
So will the Cruzers come back in droves — with all forgiven? Or will many still feel betrayed and stay away? Cruz spent many months and millions of dollars building a conservative base across America. Only time will tell.