Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz officially endorsed former President Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee for the 2024 election—only to be called out for hypocrisy after his prior assessment of Trump in 2016 resurfaced.
Leading up to the caucuses, Cruz resisted calls from Trump's campaign to support the former president, emphasizing his desire to hear from Iowa voters before making a decision. After Trump's resounding win, capturing 51% of the votes in the Iowa caucuses, Cruz declared Trump the clear GOP nominee, urging Republicans to unite behind Trump to defeat President Joe Biden.
Cruz's endorsement, however, faced accusations of hypocrisy. In 2016, during the previous election cycle, Cruz launched a scathing attack on Trump, labeling him a "pathological liar," "utterly amoral," and a "serial philanderer" during a news conference.
At the time, he said, in part:
“This man is a pathological liar, he doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies … in a pattern that is straight out of a psychology text book, he accuses everyone of lying. ... Donald Trump is a serial philanderer and he boasts about it. This is not a secret, he is proud of being a serial philanderer."
“Whatever lie he’s telling, at that minute he believes it … the man is utterly amoral. Donald is a bully … bullies don’t come from strength they come from weakness.”
“If anyone has seen the movie ‘Back to the Future II’, the screenwriter says that he based the character Biff Tannen on Donald Trump, the caricature of a braggadocious, arrogant buffoon...We are looking, potentially, at the Biff Tannen presidency."
You can hear what Cruz said in the video below.
CNN also created a short video compilation of some of Cruz's previous statements on Trump, including his anger over Trump attacking his wife and children like a "sniveling coward" and his belief that Trump "has an issue with women."
Cruz's hypocrisy was swiftly called out.
The animosity between Cruz and Trump escalated further in 2016 when Trump criticized Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz, calling him "disgraceful."
At the time, Trump referenced a National Enquirer report alleging that Rafael Cruz was pictured with Lee Harvey Oswald months before the JFK assassination distributing pro-Fidel Castro pamphlets in New Orleans in 1963.
At the time, a spokesperson for Cruz's campaign dismissed the allegations, labeling the National Enquirer story as "another garbage story in a tabloid full of garbage." Other news organizations also conducted fact-checks that concluded the story was false; the claim has been widely discredited, and there is no credible evidence to support the allegations.