Trump says he’s made up with ‘Beautiful Ted’ Cruz

President TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE said Monday he has buried the hatchet with his 2016 presidential rival Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzNew Jersey governor tweaks Cruz on Cancun over moving truck quip Hirono tells Ted Cruz to stop 'mansplaining' Senate Republicans: Newly proposed ATF rules could pave way for national gun registry MORE (Texas) ahead of a campaign rally for the Republican lawmaker in Houston.

“He’s not Lyin’ Ted anymore. He’s Beautiful Ted,” Trump told reporters at the White House before departing for Texas.


Trump said, "I like Ted" and asserted the Texas senator has locked down his tough reelection race against Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas), whom the president called "a highly overrated guy."

Despite his kind words on Monday for Cruz, Trump said he does not regret some of the harsh attacks he leveled against his onetime GOP primary opponent in 2016.

"I don't regret anything, honestly," Trump said. "It all worked out very nicely."

Trump once claimed that Cruz's father, Rafael, helped John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and threatened to "spill the beans" on the senator's wife after posting a photo of Heidi Cruz beside his wife, Melania.

But the president has rallied to Cruz's side as the senator has been forced to fend off a challenge from O'Rourke, who has raised tens of millions of dollars and attracted national attention as he tries to become first Democrat elected statewide in the Lone Star State since 1994. 

An O'Rourke victory could jeopardize the Republican majority in the Senate. But polls show Cruz has surged over the past months and holds a 7-point lead over O'Rourke, according to the RealClearPolitics average

Trump had promised to hold a rally for Cruz at the "biggest stadium" in Texas, but Monday night's event is being held at the Toyota Center in Houston, which seats roughly 19,000.  

The largest stadium in Texas, Texas A&M's Kyle Field, holds more than 102,000 people. 

The Cruz rally was moved to the Toyota Center after originally being scheduled at NRG Arena, which holds about 8,000 people.

Updated at 3:55 p.m.