After days of anticipation, Sen. Ted Cruz, who was Donald Trump‘s strongest competitor in the Republican primary, has endorsed the GOP presidential nominee.
This announcement comes after a contentious primary season that culminated with the Texas firebrand telling supporters to vote their conscience at the Republican National Convention rather than the party’s nominee.
“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 Friday afternoon on his Facebook page.
“A year ago, I pledged to endorse the Republican nominee, and I am honoring that commitment. And if you don’t want to see a Hillary Clinton presidency, I encourage you to vote for him.”
Cruz said he based his decision on six key policy decisions that he and Clinton disagree on — and which he and Trump have found common ground.
They include first and foremost the necessity to nominate conservative Supreme Court justices who would defend the Constitution. That was followed by issues concerning the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), energy policy, immigration, national security and Internet freedom.
Trump responded in kind with grace and humility.
“I am greatly honored by the endorsement of Senator Cruz,” Trump said in a statement “We have fought the battle and he was a tough and brilliant opponent. I look forward to working with him for many years to come in order to make America great again.”
Political observers have witnessed a merging of the two camps in recent months, with Trump hiring former key Cruz allies, including new Trump spokesman Jason Miller and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway.
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) September 23, 2016
On Wednesday of this week Trump expressed support for Cruz’s efforts to maintain control of the Internet within the United States, and Cruz showed his appreciation.
The thawing of the pair’s relationship has worried Cruz supporters, who felt that Trump lacked the conservative gravitas necessary to bring the nation forward.
On Friday, Trump released a new list of conservative judges he would consider as appointees.
On that all important issue Cruz wrote, “For anyone concerned about the Bill of Rights — free speech, religious liberty, the Second Amendment — the Court hangs in the balance,” he said. “We are only one justice away from losing our most basic rights, and the next president will appoint as many as four new justices. We know, without a doubt, that every Clinton appointee would be a left-wing ideologue. Trump, in contrast, has promised to appoint justices “in the mold of Scalia.”
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