Ted Cruz’s last-ditch effort to sway voters on Friday included a parade of supporters and an endorsement from Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford.
More than 650 folks filled the seats at the College of Charleston’s Sottile Theatre and more were relegated to a nearby classroom where they watched the 90-minute rally on closed-captioned TV as Cruz, who is running second in South Carolina, implored voters to devote the final hours voting on Saturday to prayer and rallying friends and family members to vote.
“If each of us gets 10 other people to show up (Saturday) and we vote together, (we) can change the outcome,” Cruz said.
Earlier, standing on stage next to Cruz and Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity, who taped the first 30 minutes of the rally for his 10 p.m. Friday show, Sanford said Cruz stood out to him for opposing ethanol subsidies and “We need another fighter in Washington.”
Just two days ago, Sanford told Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that he probably would not endorse anyone because “endorsements don’t matter.”
Conservative political commentator and author David Limbaugh, former S.C. Attorney General Charlie Condon and “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson also spoke out for Cruz at the rally.
Robertson appeared on stage twice: The first time, he carried a red Bible and declared that “Bibles and guns brought us here”; Later, he read from “Prayers and Presidents” by William J. Federer, sounding like a Southern preacher.
“You can tell a lot about a man by what he says,” he said. “You can really tell a lot about a man on how he prays. ... We went with the atheists beginning about 50 years ago and we’ve almost created an America of Hell on Earth.”
He called Cruz a “fearless voice for Jesus.”
After the rally, Rob Deitz of Mount Pleasant said he was already a Cruz fan, but he was trying to convince his friend, Jim Johnson, to join him.
“I liked a lot of what I heard,” Johnson said. “But I wouldn’t say I’m sold. I still haven’t decided.”
Reach Brenda Rindge at (843) 937-5713 or @brindge on Twitter.