Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has begun running a new television ad in South Carolina that features the praise of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh. While Limbaugh has made no formal endorsement, he has spoken highly of Cruz.
The ad features Cruz looking directly into the camera talking about "Washington dealmakers."
"Washington deals: It's why we have a $19 trillion debt," Cruz says in the ad. "Some candidates have promised to cut more deals with the Democrats. Others already have. I won't. Washington deals are bankrupting our kids and grandkids. It has to stop. I've stood up to the Washington lobbyists — like when I took on the ethanol mandate in Iowa. They said it was political suicide. My opponents attacked me, promising more cronyism and more corporate welfare. I didn't back down and we won."
"As president I will say no to amnesty, repeal Obamacare, abolish the IRS and defend the Constitution. When Washington dealmakers push, I won't flinch. I will stand firm with the American people, whether Washington likes it or not."
The ad closes with an abridged quote from the Rush Limbaugh radio show telling listeners to vote for Cruz.
"There is no other choice for you in this campaign than Ted Cruz," Limbaugh is heard saying in the ad. "This is the closest in our lifetimes we have ever been to Ronald Reagan."
But the full quote presents a slightly different picture, where Limbaugh touted Cruz as the conservatives' best choice.
"If conservatism is your bag, if conservatism is the dominating factor in how you vote, there is no other choice for you in this campaign than Ted Cruz," Limbaugh said on the radio. "Because you are exactly — this is the closest in our lifetime we have ever been to Ronald Reagan, in terms of doctrinaire, understandable, articulated, implementable conservatism."
The 60-second ad is running statewide in South Carolina ahead of Saturday's primary, and the campaign described the advertisement as its "closing" message on TV in the Palmetto State.