Ted Cruz: 'I will vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump'
Sen. Ted Cruz announced on Friday that he would vote for Donald Trump — a shocking political move for the Texas senator, who threw subtle mud on the Republican nominee at the GOP convention and spent months on the campaign trail sharply criticizing him as unfit to serve as president.
"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 in a lengthy Facebook post.
Cruz said he made his decision for two reasons: "First, last year, I promised to support the Republican nominee. And I intend to keep my word. Second, even though I have had areas of significant disagreement with our nominee, by any measure Hillary Clinton is wholly unacceptable — that's why I have always been #NeverHillary."
Photos of notable people who've spoken out against Trump:
The Texas senator said the country "is in crisis" and characterized Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, as "manifestly unfit to be president."
"Donald Trump is the only thing standing in her way," he wrote. "[A]nd if you don't want to see a Hillary Clinton presidency, I encourage you to vote for him."
News that Cruz would offer support for Trump was first reported by Politico earlier in the day.
Conservative talk show host Steve Deace, who backed Cruz during the primaries, called the move the "worst political calculation I've ever witnessed."
A representative the Trump campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.
"It's hard to see this as anything other than a political calculation," Ted Newton, a former communications adviser to 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, told Business Insider. "Nothing has changed between the convention and now to warrant a change of mind."
After refusing to attack each other for months at the outset of the GOP primary, Trump and Cruz feuded intensely on the campaign trail when the Republican field narrowed.
Trump repeatedly questioned whether Cruz's Canadian birthplace made him ineligible to be president, attacked the looks of his wife in a tweet, and fueled a conspiracy that suggested his dad was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
When Trump later secured the nomination, Cruz declined to endorse him and delivered a speech at the Republican National Convention urging conservatives to vote their "conscience"in the November election.
Trump later said he would refuse to accept an endorsement from Cruz.
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