By Mark Hensch - 01-25-16 07:28 AM EST
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is endorsing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in the race for the GOP’s presidential nomination.
Perry announced he is throwing his support behind Cruz’s campaign late Sunday evening, according to Politico.
“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 the crowd,” Perry said.
“That appears to be down to two people,” he added, according to the news outlet, referencing Cruz and GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump. "[Cruz is a] man of principle.”
Perry then disputed the notion Cruz is disliked by both his Senate colleagues and establishment Republicans troubled by his Tea Party ties.
“You’ll have with Ted Cruz that same result of, senators and others in the Washington establishment that are mad at him, find him to be hard to work with, they will find a way to work with him because they know he means what he says he means,” said Perry, Politico reported.
The former Texas governor, who suspended his own Oval Office bid last September, additionally argued that Cruz’s status as a freshman lawmaker does not hurt his presidential qualifications.
“[Cruz] 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.
“[It is] 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.”
Perry will begin stumping for Cruz in Iowa on Tuesday, Politico reported, before teaming up with Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on Wednesday. The pair then appears with the White House hopeful during a Des Moines rally later that night.
The former Texas governor also said Cruz is “the leader we need to reignite the promise of America” in an online ad released early Monday by the Cruz campaign.
“He has proven he will do what is necessary to secure our borders, to defeat radical Islamic terrorism and ensure our veterans get the care that they’ve earned,” Perry continued.
“He has also proven his willingness to take on the Washington cartel and restore opportunity and power to the people.”
Perry urged Iowa Republicans to rally around Cruz before the pivotal caucuses next Monday.
Cruz trails GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump by over 5 points in the Hawkeye State, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls.
--This report was updated at 9:21 a.m.