GOP White House hopeful Ted Cruz picked up his first endorsement from a fellow U.S. senator on Thursday — Utah’s Mike Lee.
“There is a big difference between confusion and confidence, and Ted is that difference,” said Lee, who also is a Republican.
The two are seen as friends and Cruz has joked in the past that Lee would “look pretty good in a robe,” implying a judicial appointment.
Lee’s support comes ahead of Tuesday’s primaries in key states like Ohio, Florida and North Carolina.
Lee also noted that his colleague from Texas is considered a principled conservative with whom the base could be satisfied.
“It’s time for us to recognize that we don’t have to settle anymore,” said Lee, adding that Republicans don’t need to settle for a bumper-sticker slogan.
As Donald Trump has continued to rack up victories in primaries and caucuses, Cruz has asked candidates to “prayerfully consider uniting.” It’s a statement Lee alluded to, saying it was time for his “fellow Americans, particularly my fellow Republicans, to unite behind one candidate.” That person, Lee said, is Cruz.
Donald Trump holds a comfortable lead in delegate fight for the nomination. Cruz is second and trails him in polls in Florida and Ohio. Those are key next week as the winner claims all of the nominating delegates in each state.
Cruz has more than two dozen endorsements from House members as well as public backing from a number of officials in various states.
He also has received support from former presidential candidate and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.
Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.
Contact Garcia at EricGarcia@cqrollcall.com and follow him on Twitter @EricMGarcia.