President of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins has endorsed Senator Ted Cruz for President on the Megyn Kelly show Tuesday night.“I have many friends in this race, but I believe the one who is best positioned, best prepared to lead this nation forward, pulling it out of the tailspin this President has put us in, I believe it is Ted Cruz,” Perkins told Kelly, clarifying that he made the endorsement in his personal capacity. “He is smart, he is bold, much like you, he is not afraid to upset people to do the right thing.” Perkins’ endorsement of Cruz does not come as a surprise, but its timing is a clear move to offset the tide of Trump lead, going up to the Iowa Caucuses on Monday.
Trump also got endorsed by evangelicals
Trump gained the endorsement of another prominent evangelical leader, Jerry Falwell Jr., president of the Liberty University, earlier on Tuesday. The Republican front runner has been leading with the values voters constituency, even though he does not always share their policy objectives. Trump was unhappy with another endorsement given to Cruz by President of the Family Leader, Vander Plaats. Cruz and Trump are the two leading Republican candidates in the polls.
Evangelicals divided over Cruz and Trump
While some evangelicals see Trump as the best candidate to support, other see Ted Cruz as the solution to American problems. Perkins told TIME last week: “We are not looking for a man to solve all our nation’s problems, we are looking for a man who knows the source of the solutions, and be wiling to stand and speak those solutions and advocate them.” Asked last week what he makes of that dynamic, Perkins said he believed that many evangelicals feel “beaten down” by political correctness, especially on issues such as gay marriage. “Now they see Donald Trump, who is taking on that same elitist politically correct mindset and not backing down,” he said. “They find common cause in this guy, even though he comes from a completely different world.”