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2016 Republican Presidential Nominee Governor Rick Perry (TX) speaks to the crowd during the Eagle Forum's Eagle Council Event at the Marriott St. Louis Airport Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri on September 11, 2015. Michael B. Thomas—Getty Images
Michael B. Thomas—Getty Images

Former Texas Governor and two-time presidential candidate Rick Perry says Sen. Ted Cruz is the Republican party’s best bet for the presidential nomination.

“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 told Politico, in what sounds like a roundabout dig on front-runner Donald Trump. “And that appears to be down to two people.”

Perry was vying for the Republican nomination before dropping out of the race in September. At the time he called the voluminous Republican field “the best in a generation” and stepped aside amid low poll numbers and fundraising.

Ahead of the Iowa caucus, Perry is hopping on the trail to campaign for Cruz this week, making stops in Des Moines on Wednesday. Politico notes that though Perry has long championed the experience one gains as a Governor over that of a first-term Senator, executive experience isn’t on the electorate’s collective mind.

Read More: Ted Cruz’s Terrible Tuesday

“Gov. Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Jeb’s barely making an impact out there — those are very skilled, very successful, very experienced governors,” he said. “But the electorate doesn’t want that. That’s why we have elections, why we democratically select leaders.”

Perry’s endorsement comes after a rough week for Cruz, who was blasted by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad the same day Republican candidate Donald Trump nabbed an endorsement from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

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