(Des Moines, IA) Congressman Steve King (R-IA) is one of the most sought-after endorsements for presidential candidates. He did not endorse leading up to the 2012 Iowa Caucus. In 2007 he endorsed the late U.S. Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) for the 2008 Iowa Caucus. Monday morning King endorsed U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) for President of the United States.
King said it was a difficult choice and noted the quality field, but felt that Cruz exemplified his conservative values and was the candidate that he felt could bring the party together.
Watch his press conference below:
Below is the transcript of his remarks (as prepared for delivery):
Serving Iowans for 19 years as your state Senator for six years and then your Congressman for 13 is an honor and a rare privilege that would not likely be duplicated in another 10,000 lifetimes. This rare opportunity, therefore, cannot be squandered.
It has become a great, great privilege, as the dean of the Iowa Congressional Delegation, to get to know each of the 17 original Republican candidates for president, both professionally and personally. I count many, if not all, as friends, as colleagues, and as fellow warriors in the political arena. At no time in the history of the United States has any party fielded such an array of extraordinarily talented candidates, each of whom would be clearly a better choice for president than Hillary Clinton.
Our nation is sick and getting sicker. Americans have been pitted against each other by the current administration. We have been divided by the Left down the fault lines of race, ethnicity, prosperity and poverty, sexuality, national origin, and religion. We have become “a tangle of squabbling nationalities” and coddled victims groups. The Pillars of American Exceptionalism have been badly damaged by the assaults from the Left. It is our job to defend them and refurbish them for they are the foundation of the “Soul of America.” That’s why my consistent prayer, for nearly a year, has been to ask God to raise up a leader whom he will use to “Restore the Soul of America.”
We have watched the dismantling of the national self-confidence of the unchallenged, greatest nation in the world, as we receded from vast regions of influence, much of the influence paid for in American blood. We have, not without a Congressional fight, seen our military degraded and watched as our combat troops valiantly risk their lives while the “rules of engagement” tie their hands. We have watched as the Middle East exploded into a cauldron of sectarian violence. And we have watched as a weak and feckless president dithered at the cost of thousands of lives and created millions of displaced people. We have watched as President Obama virtually invited Russia to insert itself by overt military action in defense of our enemies and to defeat our allies. And now the president is determined to import to America hundreds of thousands of displaced persons who will never assimilate into the American Civilization-the fruits of Obama’s fecklessness.
We have watched as modern science shows us in 4D technicolor the heartbeats, the arms, the legs, the sex, and even the personalities of innocent little miracles in the womb. And still the heart of President Obama and every Democrat candidate for president’s hearts remain hardened. And the will of the American people has been thwarted. We have watched as a rogue Supreme Court, on a bare 5-4 majority, transformed the institution of marriage from something it has always been, since the Garden, into something it has never been in the history of humanity.
We have watched as our already porous border was turned into a two thousand mile long neon sign that flashes an advertisement for free healthcare, education, housing, food, and ObamaPhones. The Obama message has become, “Come, break our laws, live free and live happily ever after.” It wasn’t enough for the current administration to turn the Border Patrol into the Welcome Wagon. They also sued the State of Arizona for doing the job for “We the People” that the Obama Administration refused to do and sent passenger planes, paid by your tax dollars, to transfer illegal immigrants from Central America into the United States at taxpayer expense. In many cases, the Obama Administration has completed the crime of human trafficking by meeting them at the border and transferring the illegal alien to the destination of their choice, in each of the 50 states and at taxpayer expense.
We have watched as our current president said 22 times, ‘I don’t have the constitutional authority to grant executive amnesty.’ And we watched as he proceeded to violate his own constitutional principles and his own oath of office, given before a nation, a world, and before ‘We the People’ concluding with… ‘So help me God.’ President Obama’s executive amnesties are a blatant usurpation of Article I Congressional power, even by Obama’s own words and they must be reversed and the balance of power must be restored.
We need a president who is pro-life, pro-marriage, a constitutional originalist, who will make judicial appointments of judges to the Supreme Court and all federal courts who believe the Constitution means what is says and means what it was understood to mean when ratified.
We need a president who is for a strong national defense, who has a plan to defeat the ideology of Islamic Jihad and destroy the caliphates. We need a president who will restore our military might, use it sparingly and judiciously. We need a president who can stare down Putin over the geopolitical chess board and out maneuver him on the world stage.
We need a president who is unequivocal in his determination to repeal every word of ObamaCare-rip it out by the roots. Americans can never be a truly free people if government manages our health because healthcare eventually becomes a series of life or death decisions.
We need a president whose oath of office is taken as seriously as a blood oath to the American people. One that he will not violate, even unto death. We need a president who will restore the balance of powers and the authorities granted in the Constitution to each of the three branches of government.
We need a president who will build a fence, a wall, and a fence to finally secure all of our southern border and who will instill the will in a new administration to enforce laws passed by Congress. We need a president who will eliminate sanctuary cities and restore respect for the Rule of Law and for law enforcement officers both in and out of uniform. We need an immigration policy designed to enhance the economic, the social, and the cultural well-being of the United States of America. We need a president who opposes amnesty and who never feels the political need to try to redefine amnesty. We need a legal immigration merit system that rewards immigrants who can best reward America.
And we need a president who will return America to the meritocracy that made us great.
That candidate also has to be able to win. In order to win, he must appeal to the full breadth of the Republican Party. That requires support from the establishment wing and very strong support among the largest Republican group–the constitutional conservatives. He needs to have a strong appeal to the Libertarian wing of the party, as well. And, he must be able to raise the money to drive the campaign through to victory.
When the nomination is awarded, the general election battle begins. The national debate will be over divergent directions competing for the destiny of America. A victory will require that he energize the Christian Conservatives for a large turnout. It will require that our candidate appeal to the independent, patriotic voter and to discerning Democrats.
I am convinced that Ted Cruz embodies all these qualities and qualifications and more. He has an unmatched intellect grounded in Constitutionalism, the Rule of Law, and American Exceptionalism. Senator Cruz has been unmatched in his tenacity to take on the Washington cartels. He knows how Washington works and has successfully taken on the DC elites. He has consistently stood on principle. He has persistently reminded us that Washington won’t listen. I can tell you from personal experience that Ted Cruz does listen. And he thinks, always grounded on our basic and shared values. And Ted Cruz knows how to act.
I believe Ted Cruz is the candidate who is the answer to my prayers, a candidate whom God will use to restore the Soul of America.
“I am beyond honored to receive Steve’s endorsement,” Cruz said in a released statement. “Steve is a tremendous leader in the House and one of the few truly principled men and women in Washington. He is a courageous conservative who stands up for our values and refuses to back down. His support comes at a fantastic time for our campaign as we are seeing people in Iowa and across the country signing up, volunteering, contributing, and joining our campaign to reignite the promise of America. I can’t thank Steve enough and know that his help gives us a significant advantage as we continue to grow and have success in Iowa and across the nation.”
The Cruz campaign also released an endorsement video recorded by King.