GOP candidate Ted Cruz may not be popular among his fellow senators, but a growing number of House conservatives who have been dubbed as the "Cruz Caucus" are backing the controversial Texan's campaign, and Rep. Louie Gohmert said Thursday that's because they want a true conservative in the White House.
"I didn't endorse anybody in 2012 and we ended up with the only Republican nominee who could not criticize Obamacare because they really did model it after Romneycare," the Texas Republican told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program.
"This time, I thought early on I need to get behind whoever I agree with most. That was Ted. He's been a stand up guy. He's worked with us behind the scenes. I think he'd make a great president so I endorsed him several months ago."
He admitted that he thought that Congressional endorsements would hurt Cruz, who is basing his campaign on being a referendum on Congress, but his fellow Texan "actually did a press release" about the support.
According to Politico
, the list of representatives supporting Cruz reads like a who's who of conservative voices in the House. Gohmert and fellow Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe, along with Reps. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma and Steve King of Iowa, have been Cruz surrogates at appearances. Bridenstine has also hosted an event in his state and was on an anti-Marco Rubio Internet ad.
Other lawmakers behind Cruz include Reps. Mo Brooks of Alabama; Randy Weber, Brian Babin, Michael Burgess, and John Culberson, all of Texas; Jody Hice of Georgia, Sam Graves of Missouri, Dana Rohrabacher of California.
On Wednesday, Rep. Trey Gowdy, though, said he is endorsing Rubio as a "rock solid conservative," a characterization Gohmert didn't agree with.
"Look, if I'm choosing sides on litigation and I get first choice, I choose Trey Gowdy," said Gohmert. "He's the best litigator, best cross-examiner, closing argument guy we've got but, you know, we have differences of opinions."
Gowdy supported former House Speaker John Boehner, Gohmert continued, and his eventual replacement, Paul Ryan, and "I did not. So you can have great respect for each other and still have a difference of opinion on who ought to be president."
A Cruz campaign aide told Politico that the lawmakers backing the Texan's campaign will play a prominent role as the 2016 primaries begin.
"As Cruz gains more support going into the actual contests, media is more interested in hearing from our surrogates," said Cruz director of rapid response Brian Phillips in an email. "So we expect them to be more out in front than they have been so far."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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