Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has hired former Trump campaign press aide Erin Perrine as his new communications director.
“I’m excited to join @SenTedCruz’s team today as Communications Director and come back home to Capitol Hill!” Perrine said in a Thursday tweet.
The hire was announced on the eve of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)—the largest annual conservative conference—with Cruz taking to the stage on Friday to call out cancel culture and signal his alignment with Trump.
Cruz, who is widely reported to be eyeing a White House bid in 2024, said that he believes Trump will remain a major force in the Republican party going forward.
“Donald Trump ain’t going anywhere,” he said on stage. “And the Republican party is not the party of the country clubs. It is the party of steel workers, construction workers, pipeline workers … the men and women with calluses on their hands.”
Perrine tweeted fragments of Cruz’ speech at the CPAC Friday, with the central theme of his remarks being freedom.
“What do we do at a time when the hard left is resurgent? Two very simple things. Number one, we defend liberty,” Cruz said.
“Look, are there tensions in our party? Sure. Because we believe in diversity. We believe in individuality,” he continued. “We don’t believe in uniformity. But I’ll tell you what can unite conservatives, and libertarians, and those who value the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is a love of liberty.”
“The left believes in conformity,” he said. “We believe free speech, religious worship, you can worship whoever you like … that’s the beauty of freedom, the second amendment. The left hates the second amendment, they want people docile and compliant.”
Word of Cruz’s freshly bolstered communications team also comes as he seeks to shake off a public relations misstep. While millions of Texans were without power and safe drinking water earlier this month, Cruz traveled to Cancun with his family. Although he quickly returned and apologized for taking the trip, he was met with protests outside his home calling for his resignation.
Amid speculation that Cruz could be tapped as the Republican presidential candidate in 2024, a bevy of celebrities and prominent Democrats also piled on with criticism, some calling for him to resign.
In an October interview with the Rochester Beacon, Perrine was asked what she thinks people misunderstand about Trump.
“He’s kind, he’s personable. He’s good to his team,” she said. “If he’s happy with what you do, he’ll call you and for 30 or 60 or 90 seconds of a day, the leader of the free world will be talking directly to someone like me saying, ‘That was absolutely fantastic. Well done. Keep it up!'” she added.
Bowen Xiao contributed to this report.