Former California Gov. Pete Wilson of California endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz for president during a surprise appearance at the California Republican Party convention on Saturday.
Wilson made the case for Cruz starting with foreign policy:
The most urgent threat facing our next president will be the dangerous national security legacy of the Obama administration. . . . Ted Cruz does not need any tutoring on the clear and present dangers to America’s national security.
He noted that Cruz has proven himself a champion of our strong national defense as a “seasoned member” of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Wilson the moved on to argue that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton cannot be trusted with Supreme Court appointments:
The next president of the United States will have as many as five Supreme Court vacancies in his or her first term. We know what kind of Justice’s Hillary Clinton would nominate. Heaven knows what justices Donald Trump would pick. What we know with certainty is that Ted Cruz will choose judges who will interpret the law and not legislate it.
His sterling record as the brilliant clerk to Chief Justice Rehnquist and as Solicitor General of Texas are ample evidence that he is committed to preserving our constitutional liberties. We can’t afford a wildcard when it comes to a president who will be making critically important Supreme Court appointments. . . . Ted Cruz does not need tutoring to understand the Constitution of the United States.
Wilson then moved on to immigration, a signature issue of his governorship. Wilson’s support Proposition 187 — the 1994 ballot initiative to deny health care, public education and other social services to illegal immigrants, is widely credited by the main stream media and the Establishment as having damaged the California Republican Party’s ability to win statewide elections. Wilson highlighted the fact that Cruz is “not anti-immigrant” and “not anti-Latino”:
And by the way, something that you and I know but the mainstream media just won’t write. He is not anti-immigrant. He is, as am I, for legal emigration of the kind that has made this country great. And I might point out that he is hardly anti-Latino.
There is more. Wilson also warned of the damage Trump will do to down ticket Republican candidates — pointing out Trump’s problem with women. You can watch Wilson’s entire speech below:
Acknowledging Wilson’s endorsement Cruz said, I am honored to have the support of Governor Wilson, a solid Republican leader whose lifetime of public service demonstrates how Republicans focused on providing solutions to the challenges facing the American people can win in blue states as well as red. The Cruz statement focused on Wilson’s foreign policy argument:
The most urgent challenge facing a President in 2017 is confronting and changing the dangerous national security legacy of Barack Obama who has invited aggression and contempt from our enemies and distrust and disaffection from former allies. We dare not suffer a third Obama term. Ted Cruz is the winning candidate we need.
Gov. Wilson is the latest California Republican leader to endorse Ted Cruz, who has earned the support of more than 50 current and former California Republican elected officials.