McCain: Cruz a viable candidate
© Francis Rivera

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCain2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes The Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary Defending their honor as we hear their testimony MORE (R-Ariz.) offered his colleague Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWarren goes local in race to build 2020 movement Trump holds chummy meeting with Turkey's Erdoğan Overnight Defense: Trump hosts Erdoğan at White House | Says Turkish leader has 'great relationship with the Kurds' | Highlights from first public impeachment hearing MORE a non-endorsement on the eve of the Texas Republican's expected presidential launch.

ADVERTISEMENT

"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.