Speaking at a Houston campaign rally, President Donald Trump claimed that "nobody has helped" his administration more than Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), in a bid to galvanize supporters ahead of the midterm elections.
“We had our little difficulties. But, actually, if you remember in the beginning, it was a love fest,” said Trump. “Then it got nasty. And then it ended, and I’ll tell you what: Nobody has helped me more.”
At Houston campaign rally, Pres. Trump tells supporters that "nobody has helped" his administration more than Sen.… https://t.co/h9Ucv92oyI— ABC News (@ABC News)1540257060.0
That's a far cry from all the times the president openly mocked Cruz, who refused to endorse him at the Republican National Convention in 2016.
The Daily Show had the scoop, posting a video of some of Trump's past comments in quick cuts.
SCOOP: Rare video unearthed from 200 years ago. https://t.co/XdI9iVi4Di— The Daily Show (@The Daily Show)1540250100.0
Trump regularly disparaged Cruz on the campaign trail––to say nothing of his time in office. Some of the comments highlighted in the video:
- ON CRUZ'S HONESTY: "I've never met a person who lies more than Ted Cruz."
- ON CRUZ'S RELATIONSHIPS WITH FELLOW LEGISLATORS: "He's a nasty guy. Nobody likes him. Nobody in Congress likes him. Nobody likes him anywhere once they get to know him."
- ON CRUZ'S ENDORSEMENTS: "He's a nasty guy. Now I know why he doesn't have one endorsement from any of his colleagues."
- ON CRUZ'S RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: "And he goes around saying he's a Christian. I don't know, you're really going to have to study that."
Not included: The president's choice to mock Heidi Cruz, the senator's wife, on more than one occasion, including in the tweet below.
"@Don_Vito_08: "A picture is worth a thousand words" @realDonaldTrump #LyingTed #NeverCruz @MELANIATRUMP https://t.co/5bvVEwMVF8"— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1458791700.0
He also once suggested that Cruz's father may have been involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. ("His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald being, you know, shot," Trump said during a telephone interview in 2016. "I mean the whole thing is ridiculous. What is this? Right? Prior to his being shot. And nobody even brings it up. I mean, they don't even talk about that — that was reported. And nobody talks about it.")
Needless to say, the president's current praise for Cruz isn't fooling anyone.
Donald Trump called Ted Cruz’s wife ugly and then turned around and called Ted Cruz beautiful. What a strong role m… https://t.co/gsnpOn2PFz— Chelsea Handler (@Chelsea Handler)1540248811.0
To get a sense of what a desperate opportunist Ted Cruz is, let's not forget that Trump insulted Cruz's wife, sugge… https://t.co/aE3ZJzrNqL— Ben Rhodes (@Ben Rhodes)1540248013.0
How much shit did @tedcruz have to eat to get Trump to stump for him. From the looks of this picture almost enough… https://t.co/pR85sNF54A— Rick Smith (@Rick Smith)1540290983.0
In the '16 Presidential race, Ted Cruz called Donald Trump a "pathological liar, utterly amoral & a serial philande… https://t.co/d2Hw2JRrLh— carl reiner (@carl reiner)1540240413.0
Cruz, during last night's rally, said Trump is “a man who has presided over record jobs, record unemployment," adding: “In 2020, Donald Trump will be overwhelmingly reelected as president of the United States."
The president used the rally as an opportunity to criticize Cruz's opponent, the popular Beto O'Rourke, whose campaign raised a stunning $38.1 million during the third fundraising quarter.
“What I heard about him, I figured he must be something a little special. He’s not," said Trump, who earlier referred to O'Rourke as "overrated."
O'Rourke, for his part, has opted not to respond to the president's attacks.
"The kind of bitterness and the name-calling and partisanship that has unfortunately defined so much of the national conversation, you can add more to it or you can stay focused on the future," O'Rourke said earlier this week.
The rally also made headlines after Trump proudly proclaimed himself to be a "nationalist," a label which critics have often leveled against him.
“You know, they have a word, it sort of became old-fashioned. It’s called a nationalist,” Trump said. “And I say, ‘Really? We’re not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I’m a nationalist. OK? I’m a nationalist.”
President Trump: "I'm a nationalist." https://t.co/3lxCrtSkrN— MSNBC (@MSNBC)1540257741.0
The term "nationalist" has become associated with the alt-right movement, which predominantly supports the president's agenda and has regularly challenged for espousing white supremacist ideology.