Trump: Rick Perry would 'do well' against Cruz
© Getty Images

Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSenate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale Crenshaw slams House Freedom Caucus members as 'grifters,' 'performance artists' Senate confirms Biden's nominee to lead Customs and Border Protection MORE is wading into a potential 2018 Republican Senate primary fight in Texas, saying former Gov. Rick Perry is a "popular guy" and would "do well" if he were to challenge Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzMcConnell faces GOP pushback on debt deal Democrats seek to avoid internal disputes over Russia and China GOP senators introduce bill targeting Palestinian 'martyr payments' MORE

"I’ve been hearing a lot about that, and I don’t know if he wants to do it, but boy, will he do well. People love him in Texas, and he was one great governor," Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, said Tuesday during a fundraiser in Austin, Texas, that Perry also attended. 
The billionaire's comment about a potential primary fight between Cruz and Perry was posted online Wednesday by the Lone Star Project, a Democratic group. 
Trump — who didn't criticize Cruz or specifically back Perry — said that while he doesn't know Perry's plans, he is "one popular guy all over, but in Texas in particular." 
His remark comes a week after the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling released a survey that had Perry beating Cruz in a hypothetical primary match-up by 9 percentage points. 
Cruz isn't up for reelection unit 2018, but speculation is mounting that he'll face a primary fight after he refused to endorse Trump during his speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last month. 
In response, Trump floated starting a super-PAC to defeat his former presidential rival after the two men traded increasingly personal barbs as they fought for the GOP's presidential nomination. 
Neither Perry nor Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has publicly ruled out a potential Senate bid, though McCaul says he's currently focused on the 2016 election.