GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas finally scored an endorsement from a Senate colleague.
Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who shares many of Cruz’s tea party views, on Thursday was the first Senate Republican to endorse the Texan. Lee has not antagonized fellow senators the way Cruz has over such things as the partial federal government shutdown.
“Ted Cruz has been a tireless defender of the Constitution and the founding principles that have made this the greatest country the world has ever known,” said Lee, who, like Cruz, is a former Supreme Court clerk.
America deserves a president who is principled, positive and proven. I believe that describes Ted Cruz and why I am proud to endorse him for president of the United States. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah
“Ted is a leader with a proven record of fighting for our conservative values and for the issues that matter most to Americans. He has shown time and again that he is willing to stand up to Washington,” said Lee, who made his announcement in Coral Gables, Florida, ahead of Thursday night’s GOP presidential debate.
“America deserves a president who is principled, positive and proven. I believe that describes Ted Cruz and why I am proud to endorse him for president of the United States,” said Lee.
Cruz is trying to force the GOP field down to two candidates – himself and front-runner Donald Trump – and is looking to attract more support. Former GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina endorsed Cruz on Wednesday.
Talking to reporters in Florida, Lee said of Cruz, “He is the only Republican candidate who can defeat Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and I believe he will.”
Lee also spoke in Spanish when asked why he supported the Texan. “Cruz is my friend,” said Lee. “It is a pleasure to know him. He is a leader who can guide us.” Lee learned Spanish when he was a Mormon missionary in southern Texas.
Cruz said in a statement, “I couldn’t be more humbled by Mike’s endorsement. He has been a tremendous friend and I am deeply honored by his support. . . . I am privileged to have his support and look forward to having his help coalescing conservatives around our campaign.”