early and often

Ted Cruz Answers Trump’s Sarah Palin Plug With Rick Perry Endorsement

Texas Gov. Rick Perry campaigns for U.S. Senate Republican candidate and North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis at the Conservative Rally, North Carolina's largest annual political rally, October 24, 2014 in Smithfield, North Carolina. Tillis is locked in a tight race with Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) with less than two weeks until the midterm elections.
Perry loves Cruz, may love a cabinet position even more. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Ted Cruz failed to win the love of America’s living tea-party meme, but he can console himself with the endorsement of a former rival. Former Texas governor Rick Perry told Politico on Sunday night that he’s throwing his support behind the fellow Texan. “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 said. “And that appears to be down to two people.”

Before exiting the race in September, Perry made it clear he wasn’t a Trump fan, but he’s never seemed particularly fond of Cruz either. That all changed back in December, however, when they spent the day driving around the governor’s Round Top, Texas, home in a truck. Apparently Perry got a sense of Cruz’s soul, George W. Bushstyle; he reports that as opposed to the “media narrative” about Cruz, he found him to be “one of the best listeners I’ve ever dealt with in the political realm,” and someone who is probably “shy” deep down. (We should have realized the senator’s troll-ish demeanor and excessive pop-culture references are just distractions to keep us from seeing the real Ted.)

Perry has repeatedly suggested that governors make better presidents than senators, but he’s come to realize, “[T]he electorate doesn’t want that. That’s why we have elections, why we democratically select leaders.” He said he’s now confident that the first-term senator is the right man for the job. “He knows he’s going to surround himself with people who do have that experience, and I’m very satisfied that on Day 1, he will be ready to be commander-in-chief,” Perry said, “Partly because of the time he’s going to spend in learning what he doesn’t know, but he’s also surrounding himself with people who are extraordinarily capable and wise.” Like a certain ex-governor who’d appreciate a cabinet post, perhaps?

Cruz Loses Palin Plug, But Wins Perry’s Backing