Jim Gilchrist, founder and president of the Minuteman Project, which organizes armed vigilantes patrols along the southern U.S. border, is a supporter of presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
On Tuesday, Gilchrist applauded Cruz in a Facebook posting that declared, “I support Senator Ted Cruz for president.”
“He is the only candidate from any party that has come out of the ‘politically correct’ closet,” Gilchrist wrote of Cruz.
Gilchrist’s organisation, which has been labelled a “nativist extremist group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center mobilizes armed volunteers to run volunteer scout patrols along the U.S. border with Mexico to prevent the arrival of illegal immigrants.
In his Facebook post, Gilchrist specifically praised Cruz’s positions on immigration.
He said Cruz “earnestly promised to bring the nation back under the rule of law insofar as the reckless disregard of U.S. immigration law enforcement that has gone unchecked for four decades now.”
In Congress, Cruz has been one of the most prominent opponents of President Barack Obama’s push for immigration reform.
“The only way to stop the border crisis is to stop Obama’s amnesty,” he told Politico last summer.
In an email to Business Insider on Wednesday, Gilchrist predicted Cruz would not engage in “pandering to the pro-amnesty-for-all fanatics.”
He also clarified his Facebook post and said it was not a formal endorsement.
“I have not officially endorsed anyone for president. I just boast of my support for what Senator Cruz appears to stand for. I still like Mike Huckabee or Scott Walker as contenders in this race as well,” he said.
This isn’t Gilchrist’s first time weighing in on a presidential race. He sparked controversy among other Minuteman members in 2007 when he endorsed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) for president and praised Huckabee’s “Secure America” plan to protect the U.S. border.
Gilchrist’s organisation has been plagued by infighting in recent years. The Minuteman Civil Defence Corps, which was founded by Gilchrist’s former partner, was critical of his support for Huckabee. Though Huckabee’s team touted Gilchrist’s support, he later clarified that it wasn’t an official endorsement from the organisation and maintained he was speaking as an individual.
Cruz’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment on Gilchrist’s expression of support for Cruz.
View Gilchrist’s full Facebook post, which included a link to a Huffington Post article criticising Cruz, below:
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