Cruz was facing intensifying political pressure to back his party’s presidential nominee after refusing to do so at the Republican National Convention this summer.
Cruz said he will vote for Trump in November, but he stopped short of an official endorsement in a statement posted Friday on Facebook. The distinction may matter little to voters, but helps Cruz to save face among his loyal supporters still unwilling to forgive Trump’s attacks on the Texas senator’s wife and father during their ugly and often intensely personal primary campaign.
Cruz noted that he was booed by Trump supporters at the convention for encouraging Republicans to “vote your conscience.”
“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.
Cruz finished second to Trump in a bitter primary battle and balked at previous promises to endorse the eventual Republican presidential nominee. He said Trump made things too personal when he called him “Lyin’ Ted,” insulted Cruz’s wife Heidi and repeated discredited accusations linking Cruz’s Cuba-born father to the John F. Kennedy assassination.
“This man is a pathological liar. He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth,” Cruz said of Trump in May, hours before ending his presidential campaign.
“Donald will betray his supporters on every issue,” the Texas senator added, while calling Trump “utterly amoral,” ”a narcissist,” ”a bully,” and “a serial philanderer,” among other things.
Cruz cited two reasons for his shift.