© Greg Nash
National Review, one of America’s most influential conservative publications, on Friday endorsed Republican presidential candidate Ted CruzTed CruzTrump's America: Businessmen in, bureaucrats out When Trump says 'Make America Great Again,' he means it Booker is taking orders from corporate pharmaceuticals MORE.
“Conservatives have had difficulty choosing a champion in the presidential race in part because it has featured so many candidates with very good claims on our support,” the publication wrote in an editorial.
“As their number has dwindled, the right choice has become clear: Senator Ted Cruz of Texas."
The editorial touted Cruz as a "brilliant and articulate exponent of our views.”
“Other Republicans say we should protect the Constitution. Cruz has actually done it: indeed, it has been the animating passion of his career," the publication added.
“What matters now is that Cruz is a talented and committed conservative. He is also Republicans’ best chance for keeping their presidential nomination from going to someone with low characters and worse principles. We support Ted Cruz for president.”
National Review’s blessing comes days before five states hold primaries, including key battles in Florida and Ohio.
“[Cruz] is a strong believer in the liberating power of free markets, including free trade (notwithstanding the usual rhetorical hedges),” the editorial said.
“His skepticism about ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ is leading him to a realism about the impact of immigration that has been missing from our policymaking and our debate."
National Review said Republicans should not shy away from Cruz because of his past clashes with the GOP establishment.
“We are well aware that a lot of Republicans, and even some conservatives, dislike the senator and even find him unlikeable. So far, conservative voters like him just fine.”
Friday’s editorial comes as Cruz is locked in a fierce battle with GOP front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpInterior Dept. reactivates Twitter accounts after shutdown Booker: 'I am not open to being president' Women's marches draw huge crowds as Trump takes office MORE.
National Review published a manifesto in January denouncing Trump’s campaign, accusing him of not being a true conservative.
The special issue featured such prominent right-wing voices as Erick Erickson, William Kristol and Yuval Levin.
Trump responded by calling National Review “failing” and arguing that the publication’s influence is at “an all-time low.”
The billionaire businessman leads the GOP race by more than 14 points nationally, according to a RealClearPolitics average of polls.
- Updated at 12:26 p.m.