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Story highlights

Former Republican presidential candidate and businesswomen Carly Fiorina endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at a rally in Miami Wednesday

The surprise endorsement comes as Cruz tries to consolidate GOP support and challenge front-runner businessman Donald Trump for the Republican nomination

CNN —  

Former Republican presidential candidate and businesswomen Carly Fiorina endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at a rally in Miami Wednesday, and confessed to being “horrified” by front-runner Donald Trump.

“Last Tuesday we had a primary, and I walked into the ballot box,” she told a crowd of Cruz supporters. “I saw my name on the ballot, and it was kind of a thrill, but I checked the box for Ted Cruz.”

WATCH: Cruz: Trump ‘worried’

The surprise endorsement comes as Cruz tries to consolidate GOP support and challenge front-runner businessman Donald Trump for the Republican nomination.

“When you lead, you must challenge the status quo, and when you challenge the status quo, you make enemies,” Fiorina said of Cruz’s rise.

The former Hewlett-Packard CEO slammed Trump’s relationship with the GOP during the endorsement, and emphasized Ted Cruz is the only candidate who can beat him.

“There are people in our party who are actually kind of horrified by Donald Trump. I’m one of them,” Fiorina told Cruz supporters. “We’re going to have to beat Donald Trump at the ballot box. And the only guy who can beat Donald Trump is Ted Cruz.”

“There are some people in our party saying Donald Trump isn’t so bad … but he’s a deal maker; he can make deals. The truth is Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are two sides of the same coin. They’re not going to reform the system, they are the system,” she said.