Ted Cruz and Marci Rubio were often bitter rivals during the GOP presidential primary, but that isn’t going to stop the Texas senator from endorsing Rubio only hours after the Florida senator announced that he had changed his mind and would seek re-election.
“Marco is a friend and has been an ally in many battles we have fought together in the Senate,” Ted Cruz said in a statement following Rubio’s announcement on Wednesday that he had changed his mind and would run for re-election. “I’m glad to support him in his bid for re-election.”
“Marco is a tremendous communicator and a powerful voice for the American Dream,” Cruz proclaimed.
“At this time of great challenges, we very much need strong leaders in the Senate who will fight to restore economic growth, to defend our constitutional liberties, and to ensure a strong national security for our nation,” he said.
The Washingtonian reported on Wednesday that Rubio lobbied Cruz for his support prior to his announcement:
According to two aides briefed on the Tuesday phone call, Rubio asked Cruz to blast out a statement urging Rubio to run for reelection, “so it’s not just Mitch McConnell ” asking him to do so, as one aide described it.
Those aides say Cruz declined, as he didn’t want to be accused of nudging out US Representative Ron DeSantis , the tea-party favorite in the race for Rubio’s seat. The aides say that Senator Mike Lee of Utah echoed that concern after Rubio approached him with the same request. A Lee aide confirmed that this conversation took place.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found Rubio leads Rep. Patrick Murphy 47 percent to 40 percent and Rubio also leads Rep. Alan Grayson 48 percent to 40 percent.
During his presidential campaign, Marco Rubio announced that he would not be returning to the Senate, but would instead focus all of his energies on his presidential campaign.
While Ted Cruz endorsed Marco Rubio in lightning speed, he has yet to endorse bloviating billionaire and reality TV actor Donald Trump, who repeatedly referred to him as “Lyin’ Ted,” while also smearing his wife Heidi Cruz’s appearance and contending that Cruz’s father, Souther nBaptist minister Rafael Cruz, was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.