Talk radio rallies around Ted Cruz – Politico

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As Trump and Rubio attack, the 2016 contender’s right-wing friends circle the wagons.

Conservative talk radio likes to flirt with Donald Trump, but its hosts are showing their commitment to Ted Cruz.

With a month left until the Iowa caucuses, attacks on the ascendant 2016 contender have nudged his talk radio supporters back into line, pushing them to throw their valuable support behind the candidate they want to win rather than the one who assures a strong audience.

And with tens of millions of listeners — and a large slice of likely GOP primary voters — at stake, the backing of these right-wing opinion-makers is significant. Their preference for Cruz, in fact, suggests the upswing in his standing in Iowa and national polls has some durability.

“He’s my guy. I like Ted Cruz a lot,” said Glenn Beck on Fox News last week. The host, who has been an avowed Cruz supporter for years, boasts about 7 million listeners a week, according to industry magazine Talkers.

Talk radio shifted into Cruz defense last week after Trump called the Texan “a little bit of a maniac” in the Senate. Mark Levin, a former Reagan administration official dubbed “The Great One” by Sean Hannity, took to social media to lambaste the poll leader for insulting Cruz.

“My friend Donald Trump really screwed up,” Levin said. “Big time.”

“We have a guy who has stood up to Mitch McConnell, who is viciously attacked in every liberal newspaper, every liberal outlet, by the establishment. Who led the fight against Obamacare. And he’s referred to as a ‘maniac?’ I’m sure Mitch McConnell loved that,” he said. “I’m sure the Wall Street Journal editorial page loved that. He’s a ‘maniac?’”

Levin also boasts 7 million listeners per week, according to Talkers.

The conservative radio hosts have been on the Trump train for a while, with many of them aligning themselves with Trump’s comments on immigration and how to combat ISIS. But few have come out and declared that they’re Trump backers.

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