Sen. Jim RischJames Elroy RischBiden huddles with group of senators on Ukraine-Russia tensions Republicans say Mayorkas failed to deliver report on evacuated Afghans Ukraine president, US lawmakers huddle amid tensions with Russia MORE (R-Idaho) on Wednesday hesitantly endorsed colleague Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzHillicon Valley — Senate panel advances major antitrust bill Senate panel advances bill blocking tech giants from favoring own products Lawmakers press Biden admin to send more military aid to Ukraine MORE (R-Texas) in the GOP presidential primary.
"Did I just endorse, Wolf?" Risch asked host Wolf Blitzer on CNN's "The Situation Room," after talking about how he hopes Cruz will win the GOP nomination.
“I guess it depends on your definition,” he said.
Risch said he is only picking Cruz after ruling out GOP presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHeadaches intensify for Democrats in Florida Stormy Daniels set to testify against former lawyer Avenatti in fraud trial Cheney challenger wins Wyoming Republican activists' straw poll MORE and Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) first.
“The defeat Donald Trump would face against Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNo Hillary — the 'Third Way' is the wrong way The dangerous erosion of Democratic Party foundations The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat MORE would probably be epic and historical,” he said. "I’m not going to support him.
“Obviously, Kasich is so far behind that it’s hard for him to get the numbers. By process of elimination, that leaves you with Cruz. At this point, there’s no other option.”
Risch previously backed Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioPut partisan politics aside — The Child Tax Credit must be renewed immediately These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Lawmakers press Biden admin to send more military aid to Ukraine MORE (R-Fla.), who suspended his White House run last month after finishing second in Florida’s GOP presidential primary.
His support for Cruz would give the Texas lawmaker his third endorsement from a sitting senator, after Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeePut partisan politics aside — The Child Tax Credit must be renewed immediately These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Senate panel advances bill blocking tech giants from favoring own products MORE (R-Utah) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenators introduce bill aimed at protecting Ukrainian civilians Kyrsten Sinema's courage, Washington hypocrisy and the politics of rage Hillicon Valley: Amazon's Alabama union fight — take two MORE (R-S.C.), who has not spoken very highly of Cruz even as he supports his White House run.
Trump has repeatedly mocked the number of Cruz’s Senate endorsements, arguing it shows how unpopular he is with colleagues.
Graham only backed Cruz after deciding he is the only remaining candidate capable of keeping Trump from the GOP presidential nomination. He has frequently criticized both men’s Oval Office bids, calling Cruz his “15th choice” for president.
Trump leads Cruz and Kasich by over 7 points nationwide, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls.