After a false start earlier in the week when Cruz was reported to be on the verge of announcing the endorsement of four United States Senators, a new report is circulating that Cruz will, in fact, get the endorsement of at least one United States Senator this afternoon. It should probably come as no surprise that the endorsement is reported to be from Utah Senator Mike Lee.
MIAMI — Utah Sen. Mike Lee will endorse Ted Cruz for president on Thursday afternoon, two sources with knowledge of Lee’s plans told BuzzFeed News.
Lee was one of five senators — three of whom are running for president — not to vote on a Senate bill about heroin treatment on Thursday morning in Washington.
Lee, a Tea Party stalwart and former Constitutional lawyer, was Cruz’s top Senate ally in the 2013 effort to defund Obamacare, which resulted in a 16-day government shutdown. The episode turned Cruz into a right-wing rock star, but it also earned him many Republican enemies on Capitol Hill, and until now he hasn’t received the endorsement of a single Senate colleague. Lee will be the first sitting senator to formally back Cruz’s candidacy.
It’s actually something of a surprise to see Lee wait this long, but Rubio has been and is popular in Utah and that may have played in Cruz’s favor. This endorsement may signal a growing belief that rallying around Cruz is necessary. If and when Rubio does drop out, expect the floodgates to open in Cruz’s favor, although probably some smaller contingent will rally around Trump. No one who can do math will rally around Kasich.