Hours before President Obama was scheduled to deliver his final State of the Union Address, one of the president’s most vocal national critics, Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar, endorsed the man who arguably is Obama’s biggest detractor: Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.
In a statement released today, Gosar says he thinks Cruz “will make a great president” because having “worked with him in the trenches, fought battles with him on the Hill, [Cruz] has proven himself to be honorable, tough, and a man of his word.”
Cruz “votes the way he says he will vote. He backs his words with action,” Gosar adds.
Both Gosar and Cruz are known for their tough anti-federal government rhetoric and media-grabbing congressional shenanigans: Gosar famously boycotted the Pope’s address to Congress, and Cruz once filibustered the Affordable Care Act for 21 hours by reading aloud great works of literature like Green Eggs and Ham.
Cruz, an evangelical darling who has been picking up steam in the primary race recently — he currently ranks second in national polls, only a few points behind Donald Trump — says he’s “thrilled” to have Gosar’s support:
“[Gosar] has been a fighter for the people of Arizona and worked hard defending the issues important to conservatives like stopping illegal immigration and fighting President Obama’s lawless executive actions. We can work together to turn this country around in 2016.”
Gosar’s endorsement comes right after conservative New York Times op-ed writer David Brooks called Cruz "brutal" in a scathing article and at the tail end of a media firestorm about Cruz’s presidential eligibility.
Actually, I don't know him. But when I was elected he said he "didn't like my face" and now he says I'm "Satanic." https://t.co/q6kCfer178— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 12, 2016
Shortly after Trump “went birther” on Cruz, who was born in Canada and is a naturalized U.S. citizen, Arizona Senator John McCain joined the conversation:
“I think it’s worth looking into. I don’t think it’s illegitimate to look into it,” McCain told a Phoenix radio host.
But that the Arizona senior senator and Cruz have a long history of mutual disgust and mistrust apparently wasn’t enough to dissuade Gosar from throwing his weight behind Cruz –- Gosar, like McCain, is up for re-election in November.
“The Republicans are blessed with a very deep and talented bench of candidates,” Gosar stated. “I respect all of those who have devoted themselves to the country and a very challenging and personally taxing process.
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“However, this election we need a fighter like Ted Cruz in the White House who stands up for the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law.”
According to The Hill, Gosar's is the 15th congressional endorsement for the #CruzCrew.
Watch the highlight of Cruz's 21-hour speech: "Green Eggs and Ham"