WASHINGTON (AP) – Ted Cruz says he’s voting for Donald Trump for president – a shocking about-face after he rocked the Republican convention by dramatically refusing to do so.
The Texas senator says on Facebook that he made the decision for two reasons. First, his promise to support the Republican nominee. And second, his belief that Democrat Hillary Clinton is “wholly unacceptable.”
The flip-flop was a stunner since the Texan was booed lustily during a floor speech at his party’s convention for urging Republicans to “vote your conscience” without naming Trump.
Cruz finished second to Trump in a bitter primary and for months balked in offering support, despite his previous pledge to endorse the eventual Republican nominee.
Polls have since suggested that Cruz’s popularity was slipping nationally and back home in Texas, where he could face a primary challenger for re-election in 2018.
Donald Trump says that he’s “greatly honored” by what he describes as Sen. Ted Cruz’s endorsement.
After months of refusing to do so, Cruz announced Friday he would vote for Trump, though he did not describe it as an endorsement.
Trump said in a statement that he and Cruz “have fought the battle” and called Cruz a “tough and brilliant opponent.”
After Cruz had refused to endorse Trump at the Republican National Convention, Trump had declared that he would never accept the Texan’s backing.
Trump said: “He’ll come and endorse, it’s because he has no choice. But I don’t want his endorsement.”
He added then: “Ted, stay home. Relax.”
Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine says he never would have supported someone who treated his father the way Donald Trump treated Sen. Ted Cruz’s father.
Kaine said he was “not completely surprised” that Cruz endorsed the Republican presidential candidate Friday after several months of holding out.
But Kaine also expressed disbelief that, during the Republican primary, Trump had falsely suggested Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Kaine said: “If somebody said that about my dad, they would never have me as a supporter for anything.”
Kaine made the remarks Friday in Austin, Texas, at a news conference with Latino elected officials.