Prelude To Endorsement? Trump Sides With Cruz On Obscure Internet Fight

September 21, 2016 5:32 p.m.

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are on the same side now … at least when it comes to a fringe fight over who controls internet domain names.

The fight over ICANN– the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers– is an obscure issue for sure, but one that has wedged its way into negotiations over a must-past funding bill to keep the government open.

At the end of the month, control over ICANN is expected to be transferred to an international body, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), the same senator who led a government shut down in 2013, has been leading the fight to stop it. The disagreement is one of the things that has held up negotiations on the spending bill for days.

But that isn’t the weirdest part. What is stranger yet is that fact that Trump is now fighting alongside of Cruz to block the transfer.

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In an unprompted statement Wednesday, Trump said he was “committed to preserving internet freedom for the American people and citizens all over the world.”

“The U.S. should not turn control of the Internet over to the United Nations and the international community. President Obama intends to do so on his own authority – just 10 days from now, on October 1st, unless Congress acts quickly to stop him,” Trump said in the statement. “The Republicans in Congress are admirably leading a fight to save the Internet this week, and need all the help the American people can give them to be successful.”

Trump’s statement on ICANN comes amid speculation that Cruz may come around to endorsing Trump.Earlier in the day Cruz’s campaign manager Jeff Roe reportedly said that Cruz has been impressed by Trump’s recent pivot toward scripted messaging.

Cruz has been facing pressure back home in Texas to support Trump, and his stunt at the Republican convention–snagging a primetime speaking slot but conspicuously refusing to endorse Trump, to lusty boos from the delegates– may have made him susceptible to a potential primary challenger.

On Monday Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told Laura Ingraham, “I’m hoping there’s still time for him to come forward, or I think he and all the other people you named will be left in the rearview mirror of the Republican Party moving forward.”

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