As the campaign shifted this week to New Hampshire, which hosts the nation’s second primary contest on Tuesday, Cruz continued to promote King’s backing and a fresh group of divisive figures.
“I’m all the way in supporting Ted Cruz for president,” King declares in a video played before his Sunday afternoon town hall-style meeting in Peterborough.
Cruz was then introduced by former New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O’Brien, a Republican leader who was essentially deposed because he was too polarizing.
“That’s a November conversation,” O’Brien said when asked whether he and other hardline conservatives might alienate some voters. “This is a Republican conversation.”
Former New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Fergus Cullen, who last week endorsed Ohio Gov. John Kasich, described Cruz backers as “a collection of misfits.” He called King “my least favorite member of Congress.”
“His rhetoric on immigration has been appalling,” Cullen said.
Yet Cruz, who infuses his pitch to voters with readings from scripture and exhortations to “awaken the body of Christ,” is betting that aligning himself with the stars of his most conservative wing will ultimately deepen his base of support in the primary election and November’s general election alike.