Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, it seems, did not learn a lesson from former Texas Gov. Rick Perry about the perils of running as God’s chosen candidate.
Cruz, who dropped out of the GOP primary race last night after Donald Trump’s victory in Indiana left him without a realistic path to the nomination, was portrayed by many of his most prominent supporters as a candidate who was ordained by God to be the country’s next president.
And the Texas senator was more than happy to act as such a candidate, claiming that he would represent the body of Christ and save the nation from the “nonbelievers” and urging his supporters to “strap on the full armor of God” as they worked to put him in the White House.
Cruz said that his campaign would win if a divine awakening — sparked in part by the “raging inferno” created by the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision — convinced tens of millions of evangelical Christians to go to the polls. He managed to consolidate support from Religious Right movement leaders and vowed to pursue the movement’s agenda from the White House.
His father, Rafael Cruz, toured the country spreading the Gospel of Ted, telling voters why he believes that God raised up his son to be the next president.
The elder Cruz asked God to create a spiritual and political movement that would guarantee his son’s victory, noting that the “presence of the Holy Spirit” convinced his son to launch his presidential campaign.
While preaching alongside Rafael Cruz, televangelist Kenneth Copeland declared: “I believe, with all my heart, that his son is called and anointed to be the next president of the United States.”
But perhaps no one was as blunt about the Texas senator’s divine role as Glenn Beck.
Beck emerged as one of Cruz’s most prominent surrogates and turned his daily radio program into an infomercial for Cruz’s campaign.
He told his fellow Cruz supporters that they were sure to be victorious because “we have the Almighty God on our side.” He also insisted that God was using his audience to elect Cruz with because the senator was “truly raised up for this purpose at this time.”
“Everybody was born for a reason,” Beck told Rafael Cruz in an interview at his radio studio, which he had turned into a replica of the Oval Office. “As I learned your story and saw the fruit of that story, now in your son, I am more and more convinced in the hand of divine providence.”
He told Utah Republicans to “let the Priesthood lead,” assuring them that by voting for Cruz, they would be fulfilling the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith’s disputed “White Horse Prophesy,” which holds that Mormons will rise up to save the Constitution. Unlike Mormons, Beck said, Southern “evangelicals are not listening to their God” by having cast their lot with Trump.
When a conservative writer challenged Beck’s assertions, he responded by urging him and others to wake up to the fact that God had in fact raised up Cruz for this election. David Barton, a conservative activist who ran a pro-Cruz super PAC, also spoke with Beck about how Cruz was the answer to their prayers.
After Justice Antonin Scalia died, Beck channeled the voice of God to explain that Scalia died in order to wake voters up to the importance of the Supreme Court in the presidential election and, as a result, realize that they need to send the “true constitutionalist” to the White House.
And, after all that, Republican voters still wanted Trump.