Ted Cruz Welcomes Rand Paul To The 2016 Race

AP/Charles Dharapak
AP/Charles Dharapak

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) welcomes Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) into the race for the Republican nomination.

“I am glad to welcome my friend Rand Paul into the 2016 GOP primary,” Cruz, the first person in the 2016 presidential cycle to announce a bid for the White House, said in a statement.

Paul announced on his website and in a campaign event in Kentucky that he is “running for president to return our country to the principles of liberty and limited government.”

Cruz, who launched his campaign in late March at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia praised his fellow senator and now presidential opponent.

“Rand is a good friend, and we have worked side by side on many issues,” he said. “I respect his talent, his passion, and the work he has done for Kentuckians and Americans in the U.S. Senate.”

The Texan added that Paul’s presence in the race will serve to strengthen the eventual Republican nominee.

“His entry into the race will no doubt raise the bar of competition, help make us all stronger, and ultimately ensure that the GOP nominee is equipped to beat Hillary Clinton and to take back the White House for Republicans in 2016,” Cruz said.

The early smiles come even though the pair have already taken jabs at one another.