With just days before the next round of all-important primary voting, establishment Senator Ted Cruz has just secured the endorsement of the conservative National Review magazine!
National Review, one of the country’s leading conservative magazines, will endorse Ted Cruz on Friday in a blow to Marco Rubio after its top editors and publisher decided that the Texas senator is the only candidate left who can defeat Donald Trump, POLITICO has learned.
“Ted’s the only one with a plausible path to stopping Trump,” National Review editor Rich Lowry told POLITICO, “either by getting a majority himself or denying Trump a majority and finishing close behind and getting it to convention.”
The magazine’s opposition to Trump is not new. It published a special issue in January under the headline “Against Trump” ahead of the Iowa caucuses. But until Friday, it remained divided among the remaining choices, as both Cruz and Rubio have long been allies of the conservative movement.
The endorsement is a boost for Cruz ahead of Tuesday, when Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Illinois will vote — and the latest blow for Rubio, who has struggled since Super Tuesday on March 1.
Lowry, who is also an opinion columnist for POLITICO, said it came down to who could win. The decision was mulled for “a couple weeks” by the magazine’s top editors, including Ramesh Ponnuru, Jay Nordlinger, Jonah Goldberg, and Richard Brookhiser, along with publisher Jack Fowler.
“Ted is pretty much a down-the-line National Review conservative,” Lowry said. “Cruz is the guy who can stop Trump ultimately. He is one of us. He is a principled conservative. He deserves our support.”
In its 554-word editorial, an advance copy of which was provided to POLITICO, the editors acknowledge the “difficulty choosing a champion” earlier this cycle because there were “so many candidates with very good claims on our support.”
“We are well aware that a lot of Republicans, and even some conservatives, dislike the senator and even find him unlikable,” the endorsement reads. “So far, conservative voters seem to like him just fine.”
The editorial does not mention Trump by name but says Cruz represents the Republican Party’s “best chance for keeping their presidential nomination from going to someone with low character and worse principles.”
As for next Tuesday, when Rubio and Kasich’s home states are voting, Lowry said his goal is “to see Trump denied as many delegates as possible and Cruz win as many states as possible.”
Are you surprised that Cruz won this endorsement? Does this just cement his status as the establishment candidate? Share your thoughts below!
Check out The Political Insider’s 2016 Election Center to stay on top of the latest breaking Cruz news!