One of the country’s most influential conservative magazines has endorsed Ted Cruz for president, after its top editors said that they believe the Texas senator is the only Republican candidate left in the race who can defeat Donald Trump.
“Ted’s the only one with a plausible path to stopping Trump,” National Review editor Rich Lowry told Politico, “either by getting a majority himself or denying Trump a majority and finishing close behind and getting it to the convention.”
The endorsement is a shot in the arm for Cruz ahead of primaries next Tuesday in Florida, North Carolina, Missouri, Ohio and Illinois. It is also another blow for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, whose campaign has struggled ever since a disappointing Super Tuesday finish.
The editors of the magazine said they weighed their endorsement for a couple of weeks and acknowledged they had “difficulty choosing a champion” earlier in the campaign because there were “so many candidates with very good claims on our support.” But after the GOP field thinned to four candidates, Cruz emerged as the best candidate.
“Ted is pretty much a down-the-line National Review conservative,” Lowry said. “Cruz is the guy who can stop Trump ultimately. He is one of us. He is a principled conservative. He deserves our support.”
The Cruz endorsement comes only two months after the magazine published a special issue with the cover line, “Against Trump.” While its editorial endorsing the Texas senator doesn’t specifically name Trump, it stated that Cruz is the best candidate if the GOP hopes to defeat in the real estate mogul.
“What matters now is that Cruz is a talented and committed conservative. He is also Republicans’ best chance for keeping their presidential nomination from going to someone with low character and worse principles,” the editorial said. “We support Ted Cruz for president.”