DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) - Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who did not endorse Donald Trump during the Republican Convention in July, now says he will vote for Donald Trump.
In his letter on his Facebook page Cruz said, "After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience, I have decided that on Election Day, I will vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump."
Trump responded with this statement Friday afternoon:
"I am greatly honored by the endorsement of Senator Cruz. We have fought the battle and he was a tough and brilliant opponent. I look forward to working with him for many years to come in order to make America great again."
Cruz says he's voting for Trump for two reasons: One he'd promised during the primaries to support the GOP nominee and two, while he has many disagreements with Trump, he says Hillary Clinton "is wholly unacceptable."
"If Clinton wins, we know — with 100% certainty — that she would deliver on her left-wing promises, with devastating results for our country. My conscience tells me I must do whatever I can to stop that," said Cruz.
Cruz goes on to say, "Our country is in crisis. Hillary Clinton is manifestly unfit to be president, and her policies would harm millions of Americans. And Donald Trump is the only thing standing in her way. A year ago, I pledged to endorse the Republican nominee, and I am honoring that commitment. And if you don't want to see a Hillary Clinton presidency, I encourage you to vote for him."
You can read Cruz's entire explanation here:
Texas Lieutenant Governor, who campaigned with Cruz during the primaries and has supported Trump since he won the nomination, tweeted out his appreciation for Cruz's decision.
In a phone interview with the Associated Press, Patrick called Cruz's announcement "extremely significant because Ted has a large number of supporters and donors who believe in him." He added: "Hopefully, Ted stepping forward will bring more of them" to Trump's side.
Patrick had suggested Cruz would be left in the GOP's "rearview mirror" if he didn't endorse Trump.
But he's now praising Cruz's timing ahead of Monday night's first presidential debate when, "America focuses on this election."
Meantime, Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine says he never would have supported someone who treated his father the way Donald Trump treated Sen. Ted Cruz's father.
Kaine said he was "not completely surprised" that Cruz endorsed the Republican presidential candidate Friday after several months of holding out.
But Kaine also expressed disbelief that, during the Republican primary, Trump had falsely suggested Cruz's father was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Kaine said: "If somebody said that about my dad, they would never have me as a supporter for anything."
According to CNN, Cruz met recently with Trump's vice presidential nominee Mike Pence.
Today Pence released a statement saying:
"Ted Cruz is a leader of the conservative movement and one of the strongest defenders of the liberties enshrined in the Constitution. I am truly grateful for his endorsement of our ticket and look forward to working with him to advance Donald Trump's agenda to make America great again. Ted Cruz's support is a testament to the unity and excitement that we see every day on the campaign trail as this movement rallies behind our next president, Donald J. Trump."
Cruz and Trump clashed during the primaries, as Trump taunted the senator calling him, "Lyin' Ted."
When Cruz refused to endorse Trump during the senator's convention speech, Cruz was booed by the crowd and many Republicans, including former presidential candidate Chris Christie and Texas Senator John Cornyn said Cruz made a huge mistake.
After the speech, Cruz backer and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli escorted Heidi Cruz off the convention floor as she was heckled by Trump delegates.
But Trump said later on Twitter that Cruz's lack of an endorsement was "no big deal!" But he said Cruz "didn't honor" the pledge that Republican primary candidates had made to support the eventual GOP nominee.
"He's a chicken," said Eugene Delgaudio, a delegate from Sterling, Virginia, who clucked like a chicken when asked about Cruz's decision at the time. "He needed to toughen up like every other Republican loser of any nomination battle in the last 100 years since Abraham Lincoln and just suck it up, be a man and back the nominee that he was beaten by, fair and square."
The Texas Senator said the day after his convention speech, he couldn't endorse Trump because the New York billionaire had attacked his wife Heidi and his father Rafael. "I'm not going to get into criticizing or attacking Donald Trump, but I'll give you this response: I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father," he said.
The Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, Tom Melcher said Friday evening, "We're thrilled to see Senator Cruz throw his support behind Donald Trump. This sends a clear signal that our party is more united than ever, and we are convinced that together we will take back the White House in November."
(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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