MANCHESTER, N.H. — Ted Cruz announced on Sunday the endorsements of six state representatives who had previously supported Rand Paul.
At least one representative was surprised to see his name.
The representative, J.R. Hoell, had met with Mr. Cruz, senator from Texas, on Friday, he said. “I made it clear I could not support him,” Mr. Hoell said in a phone interview on Sunday evening, citing Mr. Cruz’s foreign policy positions.
But Mr. Hoell added that he had given the campaign permission to publish narrow praise from him, relating to Mr. Cruz’s work on Second Amendment rights.
Instead, a news release from the campaign and an article from the New Hampshire Union Leader identified Mr. Hoell as a full-fledged supporter. In fact, the release included quotations from only Mr. Cruz and Mr. Hoell.
“I stand with Gun Owners of America and agree that Cruz is our remaining best shot at electing a president to protect the rights of the gun owners of our great nation,” Mr. Hoell said in the statement provided by the campaign.
But he said he had been explicit with Mr. Cruz and his team that his praise did not imply complete support.
“It’s just frustrating. That should never have happened,” Mr. Hoell said. “It looks like a full-blown endorsement.”
He said he planned to vote for Mr. Paul, senator from Kentucky, despite his exit from the race this week.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Cruz, Catherine Frazier, said the campaign took responsibility for the error.
“We are thankful for Rep. Hoell’s very positive comments about Senator Cruz and mistakenly took them as an official endorsement,” she said. “That was our error, but we remain committed to the common goal of standing firmly in defense of the 2nd Amendment.”
The Cruz campaign has aggressively courted former Paul supporters, viewing support among libertarian-leaning voters as critical to its path in New Hampshire and beyond.
But Mr. Cruz’s political team has faced scrutiny recently for its tactics. Iowa’s secretary of state criticized the campaign for sending mailers warning residents of a “voter violation,” calling them misleading. And Mr. Cruz drew the ire of one of his rivals, Ben Carson, for suggesting to Iowa caucusgoers on Monday that Mr. Carson planned to stop campaigning after the vote, citing a report from a CNN reporter. He has apologized to Mr. Carson for not later clarifying that Mr. Carson was not leaving the race.