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Former California Gov. Pete Wilson Endorses ‘Not Anti-Immigrant’ Ted Cruz

“This is the most important election ever,” former California Gov. Pete Wilson said as he led up to an endorsement of Sen. Ted Cruz for president at the state’s GOP convention on Saturday.

“Ted Cruz has already proven himself in the United States Senate as a champion of our strong national defense,” Wilson told a packed room of California Republicans there to see Cruz.

Wilson continued, “He is not anti-immigrant. He, as am I, is for legal immigration of the kind which will make this country great.” Possibly a nod to Cruz’s Cuban heritage, Wilson added, “And I might point out that he is hardly anti-Latino.”

Wilson advocated for a 1994 ballot measure that sought to eliminate public benefits for illegal aliens. Late last year Wilson said that opponents to Proposition 187 were deliberately trying to play the race card “which is beneath contempt,” according to the Orange County Register. Wilson has been compared to GOP frontrunner Donald Trump for their views on immigration. After Wilson’s push for the proposition, his Latino support dropped sharply and drew backlash, reported the Los Angeles Times.

He warned the crowd, “We dare not suffer a disastrous third term of Obama in office.”

“Ted Cruz will choose judges who will interpret the law and not legislate it,” said Wilson of the former Supreme Court clerk. “We can’t afford a wild card.”

“My friends we cannot afford a Republican nominee that brings us down ticket decimation of our 2014 hard won midterm gains. We can’t afford a nominee in 2016 who is losing women voters at a far greater rate even than Hillary Clinton is losing men and millennials.”

Wilson called for a president who would repeal and replace Obamacare and “not with Hillary Care, not with a single payer system, but with genuine competition and patient choice.”

Wilson concluded his endorsement, “I hope the Republican choice in California will be and I feel confident it will be Senator Ted Cruz…I am here today to announce to you my wholehearted endorsement and my wholehearted support of that winning Republican leader that will be the next President of the United States, Ted Cruz.”

One area where Cruz and Wilson have not been on the same side is social issues. Wilson has been known to be moderate on issues like support for abortion rights.

In a statement released shortly after the speech, Wilson said:

“The most urgent challenge facing a President in 2017 is confronting and changing the dangerous national security legacy of Barack Obama who has invited aggression and contempt from our enemies and distrust and disaffection from former allies. We dare not suffer a third Obama term. Ted Cruz is the winning candidate we need.”

“I am honored to have the support of Governor Wilson, a solid Republican leader whose lifetime of public service demonstrates how Republicans focused on providing solutions to the challenges facing the American people can win in blue states as well as red,” said Cruz of Wilson’s endorsement.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana 

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