"It got nasty", Trump told a raucous crowd in Houston before calling Senator Ted Cruz, his onetime foe, "a man who has become a really good friend". Since conceding to Trump and dropping out of the race, Cruz has aligned himself firmly behind the president as a reliable vote in the Senate.
With Cruz now clear in his role as a supplicant to the president, Trump is happy to show him a little largesse.
Despite O'Rourke's national buzz as a progressive liberal over-performing in the conservative bastion of Texas, he still trails in most polls by almost ten points.
"The Democrats have launched an assault on the sovereignty of our country, the security of our nation, and the safety of every single American", the president said.
U.S. Must ‘Push Harder for the Truth’ About Journalist Jamal Khashoggi
On Tuesday, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official acknowledged police want to search the Saudi consul's home as well. Three others are linked by witnesses and other records to the Saudi crown prince's security detail.
"I think Beto O'Rourke is highly overrated", Trump said. He called O'Rourke "far too liberal for Texas".
Cruz, for his part, has called Trump a "sniveling coward" and a "pathological liar". "And then it ended and I'll tell you what nobody has helped me more". The event was shifted to a larger arena to accommodate interest, according to Mr. Trump's campaign.
The Democrat drew a crowd of 55,000 people at a rally in Austin with country music star Willie Nelson last month and pulled in a staggering $38.1 million during the third fundraising quarter, more than three times Cruz's total of $12 million during the same period.
Trump visited Cruz's home city to boost momentum for his onetime foe on the first day of early voting in Texas.
Cruz added: "I look forward to campaigning alongside him in 2020". (Horse-race midterms types would point out here that this makes little strategic sense, as Cruz is projected to win tidily and the president's time might be better spent throwing a bone to less safe GOP candidates.) But Cruz seemed nearly an afterthought throughout.
Earlier Monday, Trump said the USA will begin "cutting off, or substantially reducing" aid to three Central American nations because of the caravan.
It was a packed house at the Toyota Center in Houston where Trump praised the Texas senator for working closely with him on tax cuts and regulations.
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