Trump: Rick Perry would 'do well' against Cruz
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Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpKey takeaways from the Arizona Senate debate Major Hollywood talent firm considering rejecting Saudi investment money: report Mattis says he thought 'nothing at all' about Trump saying he may leave administration 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 CruzBeto O'Rourke will not share million he raised with other Dem Senate candidates Election Countdown: Cruz, O'Rourke fight at pivotal point | Ryan hitting the trail for vulnerable Republicans | Poll shows Biden leading Dem 2020 field | Arizona Senate debate tonight Donald Trump Jr. blasts Beto O’Rourke: ‘Irish guy pretending to be Hispanic’ 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. 
 
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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.