For months, Ted Cruz has refused to endorse Donald Trump, making Cruz a hero to some Republicans who remain opposed to Trump. But that ended on Friday when Cruz announced he would support his former rival.
“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.
At the Republican National Convention in July, rather than endorse Trump, Cruz urged Republicans to “vote your conscience,” drawing shouts and boos from the audience. On Friday, he said his own conscience told him to support Trump. “If Clinton wins, we know—with 100% certainty—that she would deliver on her left-wing promises, with devastating results for our country,” he wrote. “My conscience tells me I must do whatever I can to stop that.”
Cruz had some good reasons not to endorse Trump, stemming from the nasty primary battle between them. Trump has repeatedly attacked members of Cruz’s family. In February, Trump went after Cruz’s wife, Heidi, threatening in a tweet to “spill the beans” about her. Trump then retweeted an unflattering photo of Heidi next to a better one of his own wife, Melania.
Lyin’ Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad. Be careful, Lyin’ Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2016
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2016
Cruz’s response: “Donald, you’re a sniveling coward. Leave Heidi the hell alone.”
But Trump wasn’t done going after Cruz’s family. Toward the end of the primary, Trump suggested that Cruz’s father might have been involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. When Cruz refused to endorse Trump at the convention this summer, Trump promptly revived this accusation.
Cruz cited these attacks to defend his decision not to endorse Trump at the Republican National Convention in July. “I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father,” he said at the time. Now his habits appear to have changed.