McCain: Cruz a viable candidate
© Francis Rivera

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLessons of the Kamala Harris campaign Overnight Defense: Trump clashes with Macron at NATO summit | House impeachment report says Trump abused power | Top Dem scolds military leaders on Trump intervention in war crimes cases Top Armed Services Democrat scolds military leaders on Trump's intervention in war crimes cases MORE (R-Ariz.) offered his colleague Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSanders meets with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Cruz knocks Chick-fil-A over past donation: It has 'lost its way' Overnight Energy: Relocated BLM staff face salary cuts | UN report calls for drastic action on climate change | California asks EPA to reconsider emissions rule MORE a non-endorsement on the eve of the Texas Republican's expected presidential launch.

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"He is a valued member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, him and I are friendly and I think he is a very viable candidate," McCain, the chairman of the committee, said on CNN's "State of the Union."

And if Cruz ultimately wins the nomination, he could beat Hillary Clinton and go all the way in 2016, McCain suggested.

But McCain pointed out his deepest support remains with his friend and potential 2016 Republican presidential contender, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

"Lindsey Graham is the one I think knows best about national security," McCain said.

Cruz is expected to announce his White House bid Monday during a speech at the evangelical Liberty University.