McCain: Cruz a viable candidate
© Francis Rivera

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBiden eyeing Cindy McCain for UK ambassador position: report The Memo: GOP mulls its future after Trump Juan Williams: Obama's dire warnings about right-wing media MORE (R-Ariz.) offered his colleague Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump banking proposal on fossil fuels sparks backlash from libertarians Former CIA head, Cruz trade jabs over killing of Iranian nuclear scientist: 'You are unworthy to represent the good people of Texas' O'Brien on 2024 talk: 'There's all kinds of speculation out there' 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.