A week after handily winning a place in the U.S. Senate, Republican Ted Cruz said on Tuesday that he was ready to support fellow Texan U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in his bid to become the upper chamber's minority whip.
James Bernsen, a Cruz spokesman, said simply in an email Tuesday afternoon, "Yes, Ted will support Sen. Cornyn."
Even as he stood shoulder to shoulder with Cornyn days before the general election, Cruz responded to inquiries about his position by praising Cornyn's service without answering the question.
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"I can tell you John Cornyn has been an extraordinary leader for the state of Texas, and I'm looking forward to working very closely, side by side with Sen. Cornyn to defend the state and to defend conservative principles," Cruz told reporters at a campaign stop in Austin on Oct. 31. "As you know, it'd be presumptive for me to commit to leadership."
Cornyn spokeswoman Jessica Sandlin said they were appreciative of Cruz's support, but would wait until after Wednesday's leadership election to make a formal statement.
Cornyn is currently running unopposed for GOP whip, but losses in key Senate races last week left some wondering whether another senator would challenge him. As chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, he was charged with ensuring that GOP candidates were elected to the U.S. Senate.
Republicans had hoped to take control of the Senate, with expected wins in Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin and North Dakota. Losses to Democrats, though, left the GOP frustrated and searching for answers.
If Cornyn becomes minority whip, he will help outline the party's national priorities and be in charge of ensuring that senators support the GOP leadership and are present to vote on key issues.
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