Cruz wins endorsement from lawmaker who boycotted pope
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The lawmaker who boycotted Pope Francis’ speech to Congress is endorsing Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate moving ahead with border bill, despite Trump Senate moderates hunt for compromise on family separation bill Hollywood goes low when it takes on Trump MORE’s (R-Texas) for president.

Rep. Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarOvernight Energy: Spending bill targets Pruitt | Ryan not paying 'close attention' to Pruitt controversies | Yellowstone park chief learned of dismissal through press release GOP offshore drilling proposal triggers debate Republican moves on Arizona coal plant show they don’t believe their own rhetoric MORE (R-Ariz.) cited the Texas senator’s support of Second Amendment rights, his pro-life stance and his opposition to same-sex marriage in making his endorsement.

“I am endorsing Sen. Cruz because I have worked with him in the trenches, fought battles with him on the Hill, and he has proven himself to be honorable, tough, and a man of his word,” Gosar said in a press release. “He votes the way he says he will vote. He backs his words with action. I respect that and for that reason I think he will make a great President.”

Gosar is probably best known for his decision to skip the Pope’s address to a joint session of Congress in September. Gosar did so to protest the pontiff’s stance on climate change.

Gosar’s support comes hours after Cruz landed another congressional endorsement from Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.V.). Mooney praised the GOP hopeful’s commitment to conservative policies including religious freedom and protecting “Judeo-Christian values.”

“Moreover, Senator Cruz has proven by his actions that he will stand firm in defense of the freedoms and traditional Judeo-Christian values which we cherish, even when under great pressure,” Mooney said in a press release. “Senator Cruz is the best conservative choice to continue our fight as President of the United States."  

Cruz has 15 congressional endorsements according to The Hill's count, third place in the GOP field. Former Gov. Jeb Bush (Fla.) leads Republicans with 30 endorsements, followed by Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) at 27.

This story was updated at 3:09 p.m.