Conservative commentator Glenn Beck on Saturday endorsed Republican presidential candidate Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp The Memo: Biden's immigration problems reach crescendo in Del Rio Matthew McConaughey on potential political run: 'I'm measuring it' MORE for the White House.
Beck compared Cruz to the 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, and gave him a compass that belonged to the first one, George Washington.
“I’m taking a very big risk here and gambling on it, but this is how much I believe in Ted Cruz,” Beck said at a Cruz rally in Ankeny, Iowa.
“I’d like you to hold onto that,” he said, passing Cruz the compass, “to make sure your compass is square and you stay true” to your values.
Beck said he had never endorsed a presidential candidate in his 40 years of broadcasting, but he made an exception because of the urgency of the moment.
He said Cruz is the only candidate in the field who can defeat GOP front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE in the Iowa caucuses.
“I like [Sen.] Marco Rubio – I’ve had real problems with his policies, especially on the NSA – but I like him, he’s a decent man,” Beck said. “Ben Carson – really good, decent, honorable, God-fearing man. I just don’t think he’s ready – I wish he was, but I don’t think he’s ready.
“[Sen.] Rand Paul, strong on the Constitution and a good guy,” he continued. “But I will tell you this – those guys aren’t going to win Iowa. They might win down the road, they're not going to win Iowa.
“And if Donald Trump wins, it’s going to be a snowball to hell.”
The conservative media magnate took several shots at Trump, comparing him to a progressive in the likeness of President Obama.
“The other guy has said he hasn’t done anything in his life that actually makes him feel like he should ask forgiveness from God,” he said of Trump. “The hubris of that is astonishing, as if for the last eight years we have watched a narcissist in the Oval Office and it has meant nothing to us.”
Beck said Trump owed America an apology for supporting the Wall Street bailout during the financial crisis.
“It’s up to him to ask God’s forgiveness, but I would like to suggest to you that the man owes America an apology, and he should ask conservatives for America for forgiveness for supporting billions of dollars of bailouts, for pulling for the nationalization of our banks,” he said.
He said he even prefers Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a self-proclaimed “democratic socialist” running in the Democratic presidential primary, to Trump.
“Honesty, faith and truth are basic requirements. And quite honestly, I have to tell you, this probably isn’t going to go over very well, that’s why I like Bernie Sanders,” he said. “Bernie Sanders is like, ‘Yep, I’m a socialist.’
“I can actually sit at a table with a man who says, ‘Yes, I’m a socialist, and yes, I don’t like what we are doing, we should be more like Denmark,’ ” he added.
“What we really need in America is enough of these politicians who are telling us what we want to hear, hiding behind fancy language, and actually have a debate between a constitutionalist like Ted Cruz and a socialist like Bernie Sanders.”
Cruz praised Beck as a “fearless and reliable conservative.”
“Glenn has been a relentless fighter for liberty, for limited government, and for restoring the country we all love so much,” he said in a statement released by his campaign after the endorsement.
“His powerful voice and passion played a critical role in my Senate victory and I am now proud to have him in our corner in 2016.”
- Updated at 5:08 p.m.