Ted Cruz doesn’t need to be best friends with Donald Trump to accept his help in an increasingly tight Senate race.
Though the Texas Senator was once considered a lock for re-election, he is now in a close race with Democrat Beto O’Rourke and has called on Trump for help. The president has appeared at a rally in Texas in support of Cruz and boosted the race on Twitter, despite a very spotty history between Trump and Cruz.
Things may not have gotten better between the two on a personal level, but that won’t stop Cruz from accepting Trump’s help. When he was asked if Trump was a friend or foe in an interview on Sunday morning, Cruz passed on the question.
“He’s the president,” Cruz said in an appearance on ABC’s This Week, via the Washington Post.
“I work with the president in delivering on our promises. What I told the president the week after the election, I said, ‘Mr. President, I want to do everything humanly possible to roll up my sleeves and lead the fight in the Senate to deliver on our promises.’ “
Ted Cruz was once Donald Trump’s biggest political rival, with the two facing off in the 2016 presidential primary before Trump pulled off the surprise victory. During that race, Trump gave Cruz the nickname “Lyin’ Ted” and launched a series of accusations, including passing along conspiracy theories that Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy and that Cruz was having a series of extra-marital affairs. Trump also made an apparent dig at the looks of Cruz’s wife, Heidi.
Cruz gave back as good as he got from Trump, calling the then-presidential candidate a “pathological liar” and a “sniveling coward.”
The digs from Trump have come back to haunt Cruz in his Senate race. As Ad Age noted, an outside PAC paid to create a billboard showing Donald Trump’s past tweets attacking Cruz, including one that called him “all talk, no action.” O’Rourke also resurrected the “Lyin’ Ted” nickname to hit his opponent over misrepresenting O’Rourke’s voting record, one of the most memorable moments of the debate between the Senate candidates.
Donald Trump continues to campaign for Ted Cruz, which could help put the Texas Senator over the top. Polls show that Cruz maintains a slim lead over O’Rourke, though Cruz could benefit from higher turnout among Republicans who fall into Donald Trump’s base.