Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah), who rode a wave of Tea Party support into the House last year, said the Paris terror attacks were the deciding factor in her presidential endorsement.
Love told Fox News today that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who recently paid a visit to her home state, will get her support.
During that visit, she said, “for the first time in a long time, I felt someone who really loves this country and doesn’t take advantage of, take for granted the benefits that this country has and also willing to put himself and take on responsibilities of being a citizen in this country.”
“I saw him inspire people, but this [terror attack] just solidified things for me,” Love said. “He’s been talking about these threats from the very beginning. He talked about the threat with ISIS. He’s very strong when it comes to foreign policy and national defense, and this is a time when we need a president who is going to make sure we are strong.”
“…We have to do everything we can to make sure we strengthen our national defense, and do everything we can to make sure that this country and the people that are living in this country are safe, and Marco is right person to do that.”
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush still leads in the congressional endorsement race. Along with 25 members of the House, he has the backing of Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Dean Heller (R-Nev.).
In the Senate, Rubio has the backing of Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), and Steve Daines (R-Mont.). Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is backing his home-state compatriot, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).
Rubio has a dozen House members in his corner.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Monday got the endorsement of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who said the junior senator from Texas “stands out” from the GOP field “as the courageous conservative whom I believe can restore the soul of America.”
“I believe he is the only one who can unite conservatives around his campaign and build the organization needed to beat Hillary Clinton,” King said.
Cruz is counting on King to help rally support for his campaign. He has the backing of 11 House members and no colleagues from the upper chamber.