President Donald Trump debuted his new nickname for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday and described his former campaign foe as “a really good friend of mine.”
At a rally in support of Cruz’s re-election campaign in Houston on Monday night, Trump recalled the tone of the 2016 Republican presidential race. “We had our little difficulties. But, actually, if you remember in the beginning, it was a love fest,” Trump said.
“Then it got nasty. And then it ended, and I’ll tell you what: Nobody has helped me more with your tax cuts, with your regulation, with all of the things that we’re doing, including military and our vets, than Sen. Ted Cruz,” the president told a raucous crowd, estimated to be between 18.000 and 19,000, at the Toyota Center.
Trump added, “In just 15 days, the people of Texas are going to re-elect a man who has become a really good friend of mine.”
— Brian Kilmeade (@kilmeade) October 23, 2018
Cruz returned the goodwill, saying to the enthusiastic crowd, “God Bless Texas!” when he first came on stage. “And God bless President Donald Trump!”
“I’m going to make a prediction: In 2020, Donald Trump will be overwhelmingly reelected as president of the United States,” Cruz proclaimed. “I look forward to campaigning alongside him in 2020.”
The rally in support of Cruz and other Texas candidates was originally scheduled to take place in the NRG Arena, which seats fewer than 10,000, but was moved to the Toyota Center due to the high overwhelming demand, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted ahead of the event.
As Trump was leaving for Texas, ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl asked the chief executive of Cruz, “Is he no longer Lyin’ Ted?”
“To me, he’s not Lyin’ Ted anymore, he’s Beautiful Ted,” the president replied. “He’s Texas — I call him Texas Ted.”
“To me, he’s not ‘Lyin’ Ted’ anymore—he’s ‘Beautiful Ted,'” Pres. Trump tells @jonkarl about Ted Cruz ahead of Houston, Texas rally. “I call him ‘Texas Ted.'” https://t.co/NkJuIoyFEp pic.twitter.com/8ZqutXriQd
— ABC News (@ABC) October 22, 2018
“I actually like him a lot. And he’s very smart guy. He loves the people of Texas, which I do,” Trump added.
During the rally, the president took some shots at Cruz’s rival in the U.S. Senate race, Texas Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke.
“Ted’s opponent is in this race is a stone cold phony named Robert Francis O’Rourke, sometimes referred to as Beto,” Trump said. “And he pretends to be a moderate but he’s actually a radical, open-borders left-winger. That is what he is.”
He’s “highly overrated,” Trump added, according to The Washington Post.
President Trump: “Ted’s opponent is in this race is a stone cold phony named Robert Francis O’Rourke, sometimes referred to as Beto. And he pretends to be a moderate but he’s actually a radical, open borders left winger. That is what he is.” https://t.co/Ea11qhvCsq pic.twitter.com/KBGHlkLrU6
— The Hill (@thehill) October 23, 2018
The RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Cruz with a 7-point lead over O’Rourke: approximately 50 to 43 percent.
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