Why Did Ted Cruz Endorse Donald Trump?
2. Internet freedom.
Cruz has made Internet freedom a key issue this month, in debates over the most recent government funding proposition. On Wednesday, the Trump campaign announced its support for his initiative. This was a rather unorthodox move for a presidential nominee to make, publicly siding with a senator's specific proposal. And while the Internet is a big issue, Cruz's ICANN position isn't exactly on the top of most voters' minds.
3. Trump's poll numbers.
A reasonable observer needs only to look at the RealClearPolitics polling average between Clinton and Trump to see yet another reason why Cruz switched sides in September. In July, before the Republican National Convention, Clinton was leading Trump by a wide margin. It made sense for the Texas senator, hot off Trump's many insults ("Lyin' Ted," attacks on Cruz's family, and the pitiful conspiracy theory that Cruz's father was involved in the JFK assassination), to play coy with the Republican nominee.
It could be said that Cruz was "betting" that Trump would fail, and in early July that was a very good bet. Now, however, the polls have closed, and Clinton is a mere 3 points ahead. In a closer race, Cruz cannot afford to sit on the sidelines, especially with the Republican National Committee starting to complain about 2016 candidates refusing to endorse the nominee. Which brings me to ...
4. Reince Priebus.
This past Sunday, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus made a subtle threat against Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich. Priebus referred to a pledge signed by all 2016 Republican presidential candidates to support the party's eventual nominee. A few of the candidates had not fulfilled that pledge, and clearly harbored future presidential ambitions. When the RNC formulates rules for the next presidential cycle, the chairman added ominiously, "I don't think it's going to be that easy on them."
The pledge was originally introduced to prevent Donald Trump from running third party. In a March 30 debate, Cruz, Kasich, and Trump seemed to distance themselves from the pledge, in a mutual breaking of the pact that arguably freed them from it (since one of them would become said nominee). Nevertheless, after Priebus's threat, Cruz made sure to list his adherence to the pledge as one of his reasons for supporting Trump.
To be fair, the Republican nominee had also threatened to support a primary challenger against Cruz in his 2018 Senate re-election campaign. Trump went so far as to appear publicly with former Texas Governor Rick Perry, implicitly adding support to the one potential challenger who polled well enough to pose a serious threat to Cruz.
Next Page: One other reason.