Elections

Chuck Norris bows out of Cruz event

File: Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, center, makes a point as television star Chuck Norris, left, and Huckabee's wife Janet listen Sunday, Jan. 20, 2008, in Navasota, Texas. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan) ORG XMIT: TXPS103
File: Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, center, makes a point as television star Chuck Norris, left, and Huckabee's wife Janet listen Sunday, Jan. 20, 2008, in Navasota, Texas. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan) ORG XMIT: TXPS103 AP

Action movie and television star Chuck Norris has dropped out of a Ted Cruz rally sponsored by a super PAC at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, saying that he was not endorsing any candidate for president.

In a confusing series of events, Norris, who gained fame on Walker, Texas Ranger, was first featured as a speaker at the Cruz event on an Event Brite invitation from Keep the Promise PAC, one of several similarly named political action committees that support the Texas senator in his bid for the GOP presidential nomination. North Carolina is one of several states, including Florida and Ohio, holding a critical primary Tuesday in what is being described as another Super Tuesday.

But Norris, a well-known Republican celebrity who has a ranch in Texas, then shot down any appearance or endorsement of Cruz in a Facebook post that provided a link to a statement he made to World Net Daily, a conservative news outlet.

The cancellation seemed to baffle rally sponsors. Laura Barnett, a spokeswoman for the Keep the Promise super Pac said, “All I know is that Mr. Norris posted on Facebook late last night that he was not planning on endorsing any presidential candidate. Therefore he would not be attending the rally.”

But Norris was forceful in giving his position.

“There's false information going around about my personal presidential endorsement. This article clears things up. God bless, Chuck Norris” said his Facebook post.

In a statement to WND, Norris said, “I would like to clarify for the record that I have NOT officially endorsed any candidate for president, contrary to what has been widely reported in the media.”

He went on to say that the remaining GOP presidential aspirants — Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., billionaire Donald Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich — each had “strong points.” Norris said, “However, I am going to let the citizens of America decide who they think would be the best candidate for the GOP. When the candidate is decided, I will support that person enthusiastically.”

Norris had been a supporter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in his 2016 and 2008 presidential campaigns. In 2012, Norris endorsed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Maria Recio is the Star-Telegram’s Washington bureau chief.

mrecio@mcclatchydc.com, Twitter@maria_e_recio

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