King tries to boost Cruz control

FILE

FILE

Rebecca Morin, [email protected]

Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz has been backed by Iowa’s staunchly conservative Republican Rep. Steve King.

But some Iowans and political experts said they don’t know how far that endorsement will go.

King, a seven-term congressman and represents the 4th Congressional District, announced in Des Moines on Monday — two months before the Iowa caucuses — that he will endorse Cruz for the Republican presidential nomination.

“For almost a year now, my regular prayer has been that God would raise up a leader whom he would use to restore the soul of America,” King said in a video released by Cruz’s campaign. “One of them has been standing by my side time after time whenever there was a crisis that we needed to address, and it was Sen. Ted Cruz. Every time.”

David Yepsen, the director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University, said he believes Cruz will only get a few days of media attention from this. He noted that “no one can individually deliver votes.”

“It’s a big story for a day or two, but then it subsides because caucus-goers make up their own minds,” Yepsen said.

The endorsement comes several days after Cruz released his immigration plan. King has been outspoken about resisting amnesty for undocumented immigrants.

Over the past several weeks, Cruz has attacked Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for his previous immigration stance. Rubio, who is also vying for the Republican presidential nomination, was part of the Gang of 8 in 2013 that tried to pass comprehensive immigration reform that included a path to citizenship. Rubio’s parents were immigrants from Cuba, as was Cruz’s father.

Cruz’s plan calls for the border security to increase before creating a path to citizenship.

Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s campaign released a statement on King’s endorsement:

“No one should be proud to stand with a congressman who believes that legalizing undocumented immigrants will ‘destroy our republic’ and calls DREAMers ‘deportables,’” Hillary for America Latino Outreach Director Lorella Praeli said in a statement.

According to a Nov. 4 Fox News national poll, 11 percent of Republican voters said Cruz would be their choice candidate. He was tied for third with Rubio. Business mogul Donald Trump led the poll with 26 percent, followed by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 23 percent.

The poll was conducted by telephone from Nov. 1-3. With 476 Republicans responding, the margin of error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Pocahontas County Republican Chairman Michael Ryan said the endorsement is “extremely big” for those who are in the 4th Congressional District, which includes Pocahontas County.

Ryan, however, said that if the Family Leader — a Christian conservative advocacy group — endorses Cruz, then he said he could “effectively see Cruz winning” the Iowa caucuses.

Wendell Steven, the chairman of Kossuth County Republicans, said he thinks King’s endorsement is “great” and thinks “Steve has very good judgment.”

Steven, who has narrowed his favorite candidates to former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Trump, Carson, Cruz, and Rubio, said he doesn’t know if the endorsement will affect those outside of the 4th District.

Kossuth County also falls in King’s district.

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