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Ted Cruz's Donald Trump support divides conservatives

26 September 2016

Ted Cruz, a freshman Republican senator from Texas, suspended his presidential campaign in May after a contest with Donald Trump that had become increasingly bitter, with Trump at one point tweeting an unflattering photo of Heidi Cruz.

"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 on his facebook page.

During the primary campaign, Trump had criticized the appearance of Cruz's wife Heidi, in a retweet, and had repeated unsubstantiated and false speculation about whether Cruz's Cuban-born father was involved in the Kennedy assassination. He had refused to endorse Mr. Trump at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in July On his part, Mr. Trump had said he does not need Mr. Cruz's endorsement. "We have fought the battle", Trump said.

In addition to the Internet issue and the Trump commitment to nominate constitutionalist judges to the federal bench, Cruz also mentioned that Trump would sign legislation to repeal ObamaCare, and also would "revoke" Obama's "illegal executive orders" on immigration. "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".

Cruz finished second to Trump in the primary and balked at previous promises to endorse the eventual nominee.

During the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, when many expected Cruz to endorse Trump, he told delegates instead to "stand and speak and vote your conscience" amid boos from the convention floor.

Cruz told a packed house at the festival UT's Hogg Memorial Auditorium that his views best align with Trump and he'll be doing anything that he can to make sure that Hillary Clinton doesn't make it to the White House.

Cruz aides say the senator felt boxed in by his past positon on Trump because he had urged voters not to stay home in November but also didn't think any third-party candidates were viable. He held out for several months afterward, even as some polls suggested his popularity was slipping nationally and in Texas, where he could face a Republican primary challenge for re-election to the Senate in 2018. Glenn Beck, who had campaigned for Cruz across the country, compared him to the abolitionist Sen. The Texas senator released nine years of his returns, while Trump has refused to release any. For Cruz, the gamble is that by publicly declaring both his support for and doubts about Trump, he can please both the most loyal supporters of the nominee and the #NeverTrump movement - thus preserving his viability as a presidential candidate in 2020 or 2024.

For most of the 2016 race, Cruz and Trump had quite the "Bromance" going.

"They were tearfully begging me to support the nominee", Cruz said.

Cruz wasn't the only flip-flopper - he said Trump thanked him on the phone, despite his earlier assertion he wouldn't accept a Cruz endorsement. Trump has never apologized for the personal insults, which even Cruz acknowledges doesn't justify sitting on his hands, but also hasn't exactly embraced the conservative policy agenda.

Cruz risks Republicans viewing him as unprincipled if he endorses, or unloyal to the party if he doesn't.
"First, and most important, the Supreme Court".

"I just can't help but say this", Kaine said. "The people will decide that".