TED CRUZ: 'I will vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump'

Donald Trump with Ted Cruz. Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Sen. Ted Cruz announced 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 criticising 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.”

The Texas senator said the country “is in crisis” and characterised Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, as “manifestly unfit to be president.”

“Donald Trump is the only thing standing in her way,” he wrote. “And if you don’t want to see a Hillary Clinton presidency, I encourage you to vote for him.”

In a statement, Trump said he was “greatly honored by the endorsement of Senator Cruz.”

“We have fought the battle, and he was a tough and brilliant opponent,” Trump said. “I look forward to working with him for many years to come in order to make America great again.”

News that Cruz would offer support for Trump was first reported by Politico earlier in the day.

“Hell froze over today,” Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said. “And it feels like heaven.”

Others were not so pleased.

Conservative talk show host Steve Deace, who backed Cruz during the primaries, called the move the “worst political calculation I’ve ever witnessed.”

“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.”

Glenn Beck, a top conservative talk show host and fierce backer of Cruz, wrote that it was a “profoundly sad day”¬†for him.

“Disappointment does not begin to describe,” Beck added. “Maybe it is time to go to the mountains for a while.”

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 fuelled 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.

NOW WATCH: CRUZ CAVES: Endorses Trump for president despite a long list of personal attacks

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