from foes to frenemies
August 31, 2018

The senator formerly known as "Lyin' Ted" now has President Trump's "complete and total endorsement."

Trump threw his explicit support behind former presidential rival Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in a Friday tweet, promising to throw a "major rally" for Cruz in October in "the biggest stadium in Texas we can find." While Trump's support could just be an implicit apology for insinuating Cruz's father had something to do with former President John F. Kennedy's murder, it also could indicate Cruz's Senate fight is getting fiercer than anticipated.

The first-term senator is up for re-election this fall and was originally expected to dominate any Democratic opponent. But Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) has turned into an unlikely star, polling just 6 points behind Cruz in a recent Quinnipiac poll.

After Trump's tweet, politicos were quick to suggest a last-minute rally wasn't good news for Cruz's campaign. If a Republican senator still needs a boost in October, it could mean a Democratic tide is creeping up on one of the nation's most reliably red states.

The "biggest stadium" promise is probably Trump's most crushing blow, seeing as ex-punk rocker O'Rourke was only able to book gigs on local TV. Kathryn Krawczyk

August 8, 2018

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is more than willing to put aside President Trump's jabs at his father and wife if it means it will help him come November.

On Monday night, Cruz said he asked Trump to assist him in his re-election efforts. "I would certainly welcome his support, and I hope to see him in Texas," Cruz told The Houston Chronicle. "I think we are likely to see the president down in Texas before the election." Cruz will face Democrat Beto O'Rourke in November, and a Quinnipiac poll released last Wednesday has 49 percent of registered voters supporting Cruz and 43 percent backing O'Rourke.

In recent weeks, Trump has been out campaigning for a variety of candidates, including Troy Balderson in Ohio and Rep. Lou Barletta in Pennsylvania. He doesn't have a past with them, though; when Cruz and Trump were running against each other in the 2016 Republican presidential primary, Trump accused Cruz's father of being part of a plot to assassinate John F. Kennedy and shared an unflattering photo of his wife, Heidi, then threatened to "spill the beans" on her. Cruz now says his relationship with Trump has had its "ups and downs," and he often calls Trump up and offers to help him get legislation passed. Catherine Garcia

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