GOP rep drops Rubio, endorses only Cruz

Greg Nash

Rep. Trent FranksTrent FranksSpeaker Ryan tries new Trump strategy: Ignore him 27 days before elections, GOP at war with itself Five things to watch for at IRS impeachment hearing MORE (R-Ariz.), who last month announced his support for both Ted CruzTed CruzCruz: Precedent exists for keeping Supreme Court short-staffed Commerce official will hit critics of domain name transition The media is rigging the election by reporting WikiLeaks emails MORE and Marco RubioMarco RubioPoll: Clinton has 4-point lead over Trump in Florida Five takeaways from Florida Senate debate The Trail 2016: Comeback in the works? MORE in the GOP presidential race, on Friday cast his support fully behind Cruz.

“Two weeks ago I urged Senators Cruz and Rubio to unite and present our Party with a combined ticket that would bring our conservative cause together in the primary election, and our nation together in the general election,” Franks said in a statement. 

“While that did not happen, the results of the last two weeks make clear that the most reliable conservative with the best chance to win is Ted Cruz.”

Franks endorsed both men last month, calling for a joint Cruz-Rubio ticket but declining to say who he believed should be president.

“I call upon them to join forces and establish a joint ticket in pursuit of the Presidency and Vice Presidency of the United States and I whole heartedly endorse them both to that end," Franks said at the time.

But since then, Rubio has stumbled badly. The Florida senator faces judgment day in his home state of Florida on Tuesday, where he trails front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpClinton to propose anti-bullying plan Melania Trump blasts 'political machine' behind Clinton Trump: Melania to give more campaign speeches MORE badly.

Many believe if Rubio doesn’t win in Florida, he’ll bow out of the race.

Rubio's struggles seemed to weigh on Franks' decision to go with Cruz.

“He can win our party’s nomination and even more importantly, can beat Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonClinton to propose anti-bullying plan Melania Trump blasts 'political machine' behind Clinton Top Clinton aide: Trump 'absolutely right' he can win MORE in November,” Franks said. 

“Therefore I have cast my ballot for Ted and am now honored to endorse his campaign, encouraging all who believe in strong families, free-markets, and the Constitution, to similarly rally to this effort and vote for Ted as the next President of the United States.”