Ted Cruz has the support of several prominent Fox News personalities in today's runoff for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Texas. Cruz's website touts endorsements from Sarah Palin and Sean Hannity. Palin, Hannity and Dick Morris have backed Cruz on Fox, and the network has conducted softball interviews with him.
Cruz, once considered a longshot to beat Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, has attracted the backing of Tea Party groups like the Tea Party Express. Since 2009, Fox News has promoted and nurtured the Tea Party and its cause.
Dewhurst, however, hasn't been completely shut out from Fox News support. Host Mike Huckabee endorsed Dewhurst in January and starred in a campaign ad calling Dewhurst “the only proven conservative in this Senate race.”
Among the Fox Newsers endorsing Ted Cruz:
- Sean Hannity. On May 18, Hannity endorsed Cruz on his Premiere Radio Networks radio program, calling him “a solid conservative” who “would govern and vote conservatively.” During an exchange with Dick Morris on the May 21 edition of his Fox News show, Hannity mentioned that he supported Cruz. On his July 30 Fox show, he discussed Cruz, stating: “And then there's an important race run off for the senate in Texas with the conservative Ted Cruz looks like he's going to win.” The Fox News host is featured on Ted Cruz's website as part of the “Conservative Cruz Crew.”
- Dick Morris. During the July 30 edition of Fox News' Hannity, the Fox News contributor said that “Cruz is running against David Dewhurst for the Senate. And if there was ever an example of a Republican who really is sort of a Democrat, like, you know, it's Dewhurst and I think Cruz is terrific.” Morris also endorsed Cruz during the May 21 edition of Hannity, stating: “I just want to mention that Ted Cruz is running in the Republican Senate primary in Texas. ... We both support him and I hope people vote for him. We do not need another RINO in the Senate.” Morris released a video on his website attacking Dewhurst and endorsing Cruz on July 30.
- Sarah Palin. The Fox News contributor backed Cruz during the May 22 edition of On the Record with Greta Van Susteren. Palin said that “America will win when Ted Cruz is elected” and that “it's time in that state for some new blood to represent Texas in Washington, D.C.” Palin appeared at a Cruz rally last week where she said Cruz will be a “leading voice for common sense conservatives.” She also sent robocalls on his behalf.
- Michelle Malkin. The Fox News contributor has endorsed Cruz and appeared at a Texas event to urge voters to support him.
Cruz has also been the recipient of Fox News' usual softball interviews. During one of his first Fox News appearances as a candidate, Cruz sat on Hannity's “Great American Panel” on November 11, 2011. Guest host Monica Crowley plugged Cruz's website; said, “Ted Cruz, you were named by National Review on the cover as the next great conservative hope. Congratulations”; and responded to an anti-Washington remark from Cruz by saying, “And that's why when you get elected to the U.S. senate from Texas, you will change all of that, right?”
During the July 30 edition of Your World, guest host Eric Bolling asked Cruz (via Nexis):
- “There has been a lot of money spent on your opponent`s campaign. The media dismissed you. Yet, you are up by 10 percent. How are you doing that?”
- “What is with the business climate here? And what -- if you are a senator, Ted Cruz, what would you do to change it?”
- “Give me the first two [points of your jobs plan]. Give me the two biggest ones.”
Bolling stated that the show reached out to Dewhurst and that “we`re hoping to get him on the show either tomorrow or later in the week.” (Update: Dewhurst appeared on Your World today with Bolling.)
UPDATE (8/1): Cruz won the Republican nomination over Dewhurst. In his victory speech, Cruz thanked several media commentators, including Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck, for their support.