In a sign of just how much the Republican Party has been knocked around by the candidacy of front-runner Donald Trump, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is set to headline a campaign fundraiser for none other than Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
According to CNN, who broke the news Thursday afternoon, Graham — a former presidential candidate himself — will be headlining the fundraiser next Monday. The fundraiser’s invitation invites guests to “honor and support a great friend of Israel, and the Jewish people, and the next President of the United States, Ted Cruz.”
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 17, 2016
“I think [Cruz] is the best alternative to Donald Trump. He’s certainly not my preference, Sen. Cruz is not, but he’s a reliable Republican conservative of which I’ve had many differences with,” Graham said in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash. “I doubt Donald Trump’s conservatism, and I think he would be a disaster for the party, and so I’m trying to help raise money for Sen. Cruz and the Cruz committee.”
Tickets for the event are starting at $1,000 apiece, according to Politico.
Graham’s announcement, while not a formal endorsement, is a sign that Cruz is gaining traction with his Senate colleagues, many of whom haven’t favored Cruz in the past. Earlier this month, Graham said Cruz was likely the Republican Party’s “only way” at winning the White House in November.
With Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s departure from the Republican presidential fight following his loss in Tuesday’s Florida primary, the party’s establishment is now looking to rally around Cruz, whom they see as the alternative to Trump’s populism.
To emphasize just how far Graham has come, in January he said that nominating either Trump or Cruz would signal the “death” of the GOP. And in February, the South Carolina Republican joked about Cruz being killed on the Senate floor.
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