Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for President on Tuesday, throwing his support behind a former 2016 rival a week before his state’s Republican primary.
Walker made the endorsement during an appearance on a local radio station, praising Cruz as a candidate with a strong plan to win the party’s nomination and the candidate most likely to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in a general election contest.
“It is hard not to acknowledge this is a guy who has been consistent in his positions, and when push comes to shove, will stand up for the people he represents over the interests in Washington,” Walker said. “We literally came of age under president Ronald Reagan, and I just see him as someone who’s willing to uphold those principles.”
He said in a radio interview last week that his views are more closely aligned with Cruz or Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and he said Cruz has the best chance of defeating front-runner Donald Trump.
“If you’re someone who is uneasy with the frontrunner, right now there’s really only one candidate—I think if you’re just looking at the numbers objectively, Ted Cruz, Sen. Cruz, is the only one who’s got a chance other than Donald Trump to win the nomination,” Walker said in the Wednesday interview on WTMJ’s Charlie Sykes Show. “Statistically, my friend Gov. Kasich can not.”
In that interview, Walker said he had spoken with each candidate, except Trump, multiple times since he dropped out of the race.
In Tuesday’s endorsement, Walker said he wanted to support a candidate instead of simply opposing another—a reference to the effort among some Republicans to strategically stop Trump from achieving the nomination.
“I wanted to make sure that I was supporting someone, that I wasn’t against something or against someone,” Walker said. “It was an easy call for me to support Ted Cruz.”
Trump sought to lower expectations on Monday ahead of Walker’s endorsement, posting on Twitter about how it would be unlikely for him to get his support.
“After the way I beat Gov. Scott Walker (and Jeb, Rand, Marco and all others) in the Presidential Primaries, no way he would ever endorse me!” Trump said.