Rick Perry endorses Ted Cruz for GOP nomination

Rick Perry
FILE - In this April 25, 2015 file photo, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks in Waukee, Iowa. It’s time for Republican presidential contenders to “Roast and Ride,” a new twist in Iowa’s down-home presidential politicking. A weekend gathering by freshman Sen. Joni Ernst features a pig roast, speeches from seven 2016 hopefuls and a motorcycle ride that promises to get at least a few of them on wheels. It’s a prime political event for Republicans in a state known for a straw poll that is declining in relevance and for an annual steak fry for Democrats that had its last hurrah last year. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas and a two-time GOP presidential candidate, has endorsed Ted Cruz’s 2016 White House bid.

“Of those individuals who have a chance to win the Republican primary, at this juncture, from my perspective, Ted Cruz is by far the most consistent conservative in that crowd,” Perry said in an interview with POLITICO. “And that appears to be down to two people.”

Perry, who dropped out of the 2016 race last September, backed his fellow Texan just one week before the Iowa caucuses, the first nominating contest of the presidential campaign and one in which Cruz is locked in a close matchup with real estate mogul Donald Trump.

The former Texas governor was popular with evangelicals — a key component of Cruz’s coalition — during both of his White House campaigns. He was an early critic of Trump, calling the GOP frontrunner a “cancer on conservatism” and blasting his plans for border security as unrealistic and superficial.

Perry was considered an early frontrunner during the 2012 presidential contest but quickly lost traction after stumbles, particularly regarding immigration policy. He failed to rise above a handful of points in public polling during his 2016 reprise bid.

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