Washington: Ted Cruz has endorsed Republican nominee Donald Trump for the presidency in a stunning turn of events after a contentious primary filled with personal attacks and a dramatic snub at the Republican National Convention.
“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 wrote in a Facebook post on Friday, CNN reported.
“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.”
“I am greatly honored by the endorsement of Senator Cruz,” Trump said in a statement obtained by CNN.
“We have fought the battle and he was a tough and brilliant opponent. I look forward to working with him for many years to come in order to make America great again.”
The move — three days before Trump’s critical first debate with Clinton — comes as the Trump and Cruz camps have moved closer in recent weeks.
Trump’s vice presidential nominee Mike Pence played a key role in bringing Cruz into the fold. Pence and Cruz traded multiple messages, then spoke at length once on the phone and again in person, when Pence visited Capitol Hill a few weeks ago, a source close to Pence said.
Trump has hired key Cruz allies such as Kellyanne Conway as his campaign manager, and Jason Miller as a spokesman.
Wednesday, Trump’s campaign expressed support for a Cruz-backed, Internet-related proposal in government funding talks in the Senate.
Cruz cited Trump’s pledges on the judiciary in his Facebook post. “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 (the late Antonin) Scalia,’ Cruz wrote.
“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.”
A Cruz endorsement could be the last pillar to helping Trump shore up the support of conservatives who have remained reticent about supporting his campaign.
The move marks a dramatic turnaround from the personal insults Cruz and Trump traded during the previous year.