"HOUSTON, Texas – Presidential candidate Ted Cruz today announced the endorsement of Mike Bickle, Founder and Director of the International House of Prayer of Kansas City, an evangelical missions organization based on prayer.Mr. Cruz, are you sure you want Mike Bickle associated with your campaign? Are you sure you want to trumpet the endorsement of an apocalyptic preacher who cultivates End Times paranoia among his followers? Who sees women as subordinate to men? Whose church came up repeatedly in media coverage of a tragic 2012 death?
“Our nation is in a great crisis in this hour,” Bickle said. “We need a president who will first be faithful to honor God’s Word. We need a president who will work to defend religious liberty, uphold our Constitution, keep our country safe and our economy sound, and speak truth to the nation. We have been praying for righteous leaders, and Ted Cruz is such a leader. I am enthusiastically endorsing Ted Cruz.”
The International House of Prayer is engaged in many outreaches, justice initiatives, and mission projects. For the last 16 years, their prayer room has continued nonstop in 24/7 prayer led by worship teams. 800 staff members work at the IHOPKC Mission Base in Kansas City, and 800 full-time students and interns attend the International House of Prayer University, which consists of three full-time ministry schools— a Bible school, music school, and media school. About 20,000 people attend One Thing annually, IHOPKC’s year-end young adult conference
“Through prayer, the Lord has changed my life and altered my family’s story,” said Cruz. “I am grateful for Mike’s dedication to call a generation of young people to prayer and spiritual commitment. Heidi and I are grateful to have his prayers and support. With the support of Mike and many other people of faith, we will fight the good fight, finish the course, and keep the faith.”
Bickle is the author of 10 books including Passion for Jesus, Growing in Prayer, The Pleasures of Loving God, and The Rewards of Fasting. His teaching emphasizes making disciples who seek to walk out the two Great Commandments while serving together to see the Great Commission fulfilled and the fame of Jesus’ name fill the earth. Mike pastored for 23 years before starting the IHOPKC Missions Base in 1999, and has been married to Diane for 38 years, with two sons and five grandchildren."
This is not the first time Cruz has courted controversial allies from the Religious Right. For example, Cruz appeared at the Freedom 2015 conference alongside Generations with Vision host Kevin Swanson, whose homophobic meltdown on stage at the event left observers stunned. Right Wing Watch has also documented Cruz's other unsavory endorsements, including Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson, anti-abortion activist Troy Newman, and activists from the anti-feminist Eagle Forum.
Cruz's affinity for unhinged and/or hateful figures will earn him a few evangelical votes, but will cost him exponentially more mainstream votes. Moderate and progressive voters will listen to Cruz's rhetoric, observe those with whom he breaks bread, and recoil.