Former Candidate Rick Perry to Stump for Ted Cruz Ahead of AZ Primary

Rick Perry, former governor of Texas, speaks at a presidential campaign rally for Ted Cruz in Dallas, Texas on February 29, 2016. / AFP / Laura Buckman
Laura Buckman/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry will stump for 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in Arizona on Thursday, ahead of the state’s March 22 primary.

A news release from the Maricopa Republican Party reads:

The Republican Party of Maricopa County is thrilled to have former GOP presidential candidate and conservative stalwart Governor Rick Perry visit Arizona on behalf of Senator Ted Cruz tomorrow.

Perry will speak at ASU in the Pima Auditorium tomorrow, Thursday March 17th at 4:00 PM.

Maricopa Country Republican Party Chairman Tyler Bowyer tells Breitbart News:

Governor Perry has been a fierce border control advocate and has been admired by many Arizonans for his work as a Governor who fought the good fight against a wayward Obama administration. We are excited for him to be in the Valley of the Sun to enter into the important debate on behalf of Ted Cruz prior to the AZ Presidential Preference.

Perry left the race for the republican presidential nomination last September. “For me the message has always been greater than the man,” Perry said of the conservative movement as he left the contest. The former Texas governor endorsed Cruz in January.

Perry said upon endorsing Cruz:

Senator Cruz and I have spent some quality time together over the course of the last 60 days. And I really didn’t know Ted Cruz. I mean, he was the solicitor general, I was the governor. I had a caricature of him, here’s what the media said, here was the media narrative, here was the political lens that I saw him through. And what I found after I spent some time with him, both in direct conversation and then on the phone over the course of the last month, is this is a different person by a substantial margin. This is probably the best listener that I’ve ever been around in the political world. Truly listens. He’s not just being quiet, he’s processing.

When asked about disparaging comments toward Trump and whether Cruz endorsement was more of a rejection of Trump, Perry said:

I’m really enthusiastic about this man, Ted Cruz. He will be ready to be commander in chief on day one, as a former Air Force pilot, as a person who has a real passion for the veterans and the active duty military. We talked about that a lot.

Cruz also announced that Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) was endorsing him.

In February news broke that Perry would lead the pro-Cruz super PAC called “Keep the Promise to Veterans.” Perry is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. At the February unveiling of Cruz’s military plan Perry said that Cruz has a “deep and heartfelt commitment to the men and women” of the U.S. military.

Former Arizona Gov. Mark Sanford, a 10-year Air Force veteran in his own right, endorsed Cruz in February.

It was in Texas last July that Donald Trump stated that Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) is “a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured” during a Q&A session with Frank Luntz at the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa. Lunt repeatedly responded to Trump, “He’s a war hero.” Trump later elaborated on his comments during a Sunday appearance of ABC This Week‘s Marta Raddatz. Trump commented regarding, “He’s (McCain) done nothing to help the vets, and I will tell you they are living in hell.”

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