JANESVILLE, Wisconsin — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), a former GOP presidential candidate who won this state over current GOP nominee Donald Trump back during the primaries, is not backing House Speaker Paul Ryan’s re-election during his primary against Republican businessman Paul Nehlen at this point.
Cruz’s team, over the course of several emails on Friday, told Breitbart News the Senator would not at this time back Ryan for re-election to the U.S. Congress. It’s worth noting, though, that according to Cruz’s team Ryan has not asked Cruz for his endorsement. Cruz also refused to endorse Donald Trump for president, despite a primetime speaking slot at the Republican National Convention.
“Sen. Cruz likes and respects Paul Ryan,” Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told Breitbart News. “He considers endorsements when asked, and in this case a request wasn’t made.”
Ryan’s spokesman Zack Roday has not responded to a request for comment in response to Cruz’s refusal to endorse to Ryan. Roday did respond with a press statement when Trump refused to endorse Ryan earlier this week.
Cruz’s decision to withhold an endorsement of Ryan may end up being more consequential than Trump’s decision to do so for at least the past few days. Trump is expected to endorse Ryan soon, sources have confirmed to Breitbart News, and it’s likely to happen at his event on Friday evening in Green Bay, according to Fox News.
Cruz won the state of Wisconsin back during the presidential primaries, the last state he would win. He won the state by running a campaign remarkably similar to the one Ryan is running now, on the issue of trade. Ryan has flip-flopped on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, now opposing it after ramming Trade Promotion Authority that would fast-track its passage through Congress. The two—Ryan and Cruz—even wrote a joint op-ed together in the Wall Street Journal praising the TPP and pushing for passage of TPA, something Cruz later changed positions on but something Ryan still supports.
Cruz was also backed by Gov. Scott Walker during the primary, and Walker is supporting Ryan in his primary against Republican businessman Paul Nehlen here.