A flurry of headlines hit the Internet early Wednesday giving action movie and television star Chuck Norris’ highly coveted endorsement in the presidential race to Sen. Ted Cruz.
And while Norris may eventually support Cruz, if he is the GOP’s presidential nominee, the reporting appears to have bombed.
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 continued, “Each of the remaining Republican candidates have strong points and, as I’ve said in my WND culture warrior column, I believe some have the potential to be great presidents. 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.”
The erroneous media reports of a purported Norris endorsement were circulated by outlets such as the Dallas Morning News and the Daytona Beach News Journal, which said, quoting the Washington Post’s Emily Heil, “Ding, ding, ding! It seems we have a winner – the coveted Chuck Norris endorsement goes to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.”
Heil’s original story said, “Norris is the roundhouse-kicking action star who inspired the now-classic Internet meme Chuck Norris Facts (A sample: ‘Chuck Norris doesn’t sleep; he waits’) whose backing of Mike Huckabee gave the former Arkansas governor’s 2008 presidential bid a real boost. After Huckabee dropped his 2016 bid, we noted that the nod from the conservative star Norris – a potential boon for a field of GOP candidates grasping for any advantage they can find – was up for grabs.”
The trend continued when the Hill said Norris would be stumping for Cruz.
“The ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ star and famed martial artist will hit the campaign trail for the GOP candidate this weekend, according to an invitation from a pro-Cruz super-PAC,” the report said. That event is the Keep the Promise PAC, it said.
And the Political Insider repeated the rumor: “While it’s great for Cruz that MS Gov. Phil Bryant endorsed his campaign, today he also received a bombshell endorsement from actor, marital arts expert, and American patriot Chuck Norris!”
Townhall reported, “Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign is getting a martial arts-strength boost from Chuck Norris. The ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ star and famed martial artist will hit the campaign trail for the GOP candidate this weekend, according to an invitation from a pro-Cruz super-PAC.”
It was in February WND reported on the Norris endorsement following the decision by Mike Huckabee, who had been picked by the Norrises, to end his 2016 campaign.
Norris and his politically active wife, Gena, at that time informed WND, the news agency for which he writes an exclusive weekly political column, as well as a weekly health column:
“We are not endorsing anyone at this time, but we will support whoever ends up being the nominee for the Republican Party in the general election,” they said in a statement.
They added that they have favorites, some of whom they are convinced would make great presidents, but they do not intend to endorse anyone imminently.
“To me, any one of the GOP candidates would make a good president,” he wrote on Huckabee’s website after the former Fox News star bowed out of the 2016 race. “Some of them could even be great.”
Back in 2012, WND reported a public service announcement from the Norrises caught the attention of more than 1.3 million viewers.
And that didn’t count the additional million views or thereabouts that came through WND, where the video first appeared.
Tim Hanrahan on the Washington Wire at the time said, “The action star and his wife, Gena, speak directly to the camera, and warn of the country’s creep toward socialism – or ‘something much worse’ – under President Barack Obama.
“They quote Edmund Burke and former President Ronald Reagan: From President Reagan, Mrs. Norris quotes this line: ‘We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness,'” the column said.
The column ranked the Norris project as the top political ad, with 1,366,826 views. The WND views of around a million would be on top of that.
The original report on the public service announcement explained that America’s favorite action star is calling on evangelical Christians across the nation to join him in crushing the creep of socialism.
On WND, Norris and his wife, Gena, unveiled their request that Christians help save the country.
“We are here to talk about a growing concern we all share,” Chuck Norris explains. “If we look to history, our great country and freedom are under attack. We’re at a tipping point and, quite possibly, our country as we know it may be lost forever if we don’t change the course in which our country is headed.”
Gena warns that voter apathy among evangelicals in 2008 may have contributed to Obama’s election in the first place.
“With our country at a crossroads, Chuck and I have asked ourselves what we can be doing to help support this great country we’re blessed to live in and how we can encourage our like-minded American brothers and sisters to unite and let their voices be heard,” she said. “It is estimated that in the 2008 election, 30 million evangelical Christians stayed home on voting day and Obama won the election by 10 million votes.”
Chuck cautions Christians about the cost of doing nothing while the nation spirals into a state of socialism from which there will be no return.
“We know you love your family and your freedom as much as Gena and I do,” he said in his appeal to Americans. “And it is because of that we can no longer sit quietly or stand on the sidelines and watch our country go the way of socialism or something much worse.”
Gena urged Christians to register and cast their votes on Election Day to ensure “our voices will be heard.”
Chuck recalled the cautionary words of great patriots on the subject of preserving liberty:
“As Edmund Burke said, ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing.’
Chuck Norris concluded the announcement by encouraging Americans to close ranks and defend their great nation “for God and country.”
“Please stand with us,” he urges. “Let’s unite for God and country. And may God continue to bless the United States of America. See you at the polls.”
Norris has been writing a weekly column exclusively for WND since Oct. 23, 2006. The star of “Walker: Texas Ranger” and some of the biggest action pictures ever, such as “Expendables 2,” Norris has also reached a new generation as part of the Internet craze for one-liners usually labeled not as jokes but as “facts.”
In “The Official Chuck Norris Fact Book,” Norris gives readers not only his favorite “facts,” roundhouse-kicked by the man himself, but also the stories behind the facts and the code by which he lives his life.
In his bestselling book, “Black Belt Patriotism: How to Reawaken America,” Norris provides real solutions for solving the nation’s problems, moving the country forward and changing its course for the better.
As history shows, millions of Americans follow when Chuck Norris leads.
In 2008, Zeta Interactive confirmed that when Norris endorsed former Arkansas Gov. Huckabee in a WND column, it sparked a spike of 66 percent in Internet posts on Huckabee.
When Norris wrote of his endorsement of Huckabee, the former governor was holding support from about eight percent of voters, according to Rasmussen Reports, which is considered one of the most accurate tracking polls available.
Within a couple days, the time it took for the Norris column to make the rounds of the blogs and media sites, Huckabee’s support rose to 10 percent, his first time ever in double digits, and within another day it was at 12 percent.
Huckabee’s campaign also reported a surge in campaign contributions – of about $550,000 – in just days after the Norris endorsement.
Norris’ career began not in movies, television or in the world of Internet trivia. The man who has employed martial arts in so many of his pictures first came to the world’s attention as a real-life martial arts star. He was a six-time undefeated World Professional MiddleWeight Karate Champion. He was also a renowned teacher in the martial arts, with celebrity students including Steve McQueen, Bob Barker, Priscilla Presley and Donnie and Marie Osmond.
He has gone on to found the United Fighting Arts Federation with more than 2,300 black belts all over the world. In 1997, Norris achieved another milestone in his life by being the first man ever in the Western Hemisphere to be awarded an eighth-degree Black Belt Grand Master recognition in the Tae Kwon Do system. This was a first in 4,500 years of tradition.
The Norrises share that next to their family, their greatest mission in life is their KICKSTART KIDS Foundation. In 1992 with the help of President George H.W. Bush, the program was launched in four public middle schools in Houston. For over 20 years, KICKSTART KIDS has developed and delivered an in-school physical education program based on martial arts that teaches responsibility and character development, while building self-esteem and engaging kids in a school-based activity. The program is dedicated to giving middle school students the tools and support necessary to resolve conflicts, avoid participating in gangs, choose a drug-free lifestyle, resist negative peer pressure, remain in school until they graduate, achieve a higher level of academic success and ultimately become productive members of our communities. Today KSK serves more than 7,000 children daily and has graduated approximately 70,000 students, with many going on to college.