Sen. Ted Cruz finished third in Saturday’s primary by a slim margin: less than one percent. Trump carried first place and Sen. Marco Rubio jockeyed into second. Cruz was in Charleston ahead of the primary, galvanizing supporters. On Friday, a crowd gathered on George Street awaiting entry into Sottile Theatre for a Cruz rally. Shouts broke out as supporters and protesters jeered at one another, waving signs and name calling.
The first half of the event consisted of a live production of Fox New’s “Sean Hannity,” featuring an interview with Sen. Cruz. However, the interview was interrupted by the endorsements of three special guests.
The most intriguing of the three was a last-minute endorsement from former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. When Sean Hannity asked for the reasons of Sanford’s recent support, Sanford said “Real simple…that the Constitution matters, and too much of what we’ve seen in this race…It just struck me that it’s gotten out of balance.”
Following the former governor was Phil Robertson, patriarch of the reality TV series “Duck Dynasty.” Decked out in camouflage, Robertson expressed his support of Cruz due to the senator’s agenda on Second Amendment rights and grounding in religion. “Bibles and guns brought us here — and it will be Bibles and guns that keep us here,” Robertson said.
The senator welcomed a third endorsement from New York Times Best Selling author and columnist David Limbaugh, brother of radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. David expressed his support of Cruz’s platform, explaining, “We have one solution, one remedy, and that is to restore America’s family principles.” He concluded by calling Senator Cruz the ”last best chance we got.”
Despite the rush of last-minute support, Cruz placed third in South Carolina’s Republican primary, losing to billionaire Donald Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio. The breakdown of votes was as follows: Donald Trump carrying 32.5 percent, and Senators Rubio and Cruz neck and neck with 22.5 percent and 22.3 percent, respectively. About 22-25 percent of white men and women aged 18 and up voted for the Texas senator.
In reaction to the results, Cruz said “Each of you is amazing, and together we will win the Republican nomination. We will beat the Democrats in November, and we will restore this last best hope of mankind that is the United States of America. Thank you and God bless.”