Texas lieutenant governor urged for Trump to visit to bolster Cruz: report

Texas lieutenant governor urged for Trump to visit to bolster Cruz: report
© Getty Images

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick personally requested President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE get involved in Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate NY Times, McCabe give Trump perfect cover to fire Rosenstein, Sessions Live coverage: Cruz, O'Rourke clash in Texas debate MORE's (R-Texas) reelection to boost turnout amid an increasingly close race, Politico reported Sunday.

Patrick, who was chairman of Trump's 2016 campaign in Texas, reportedly asked White House officials during a July trip to Washington, D.C., about sending Trump to the state to campaign on Cruz's behalf. The lieutenant governor argued that an appearance from Trump would provide a necessary turnout boost for state Republicans, Politico reported.

The Hill has reached out to both Patrick and the White House for comment.

Patrick's reported request was soon followed by Cruz saying he'd "welcome" a visit from Trump during campaign season. Late last month, the president followed through, announcing he planned to hold a rally at "the biggest stadium in Texas we can find."

ADVERTISEMENT

The date and location of the rally has yet to be announced.

Trump and Cruz frequently exchanged barbs during the 2016 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Trump labeled the senator "Lyin' Ted" and mocked his family, while Cruz called then-candidate Trump a "sniveling coward" and a "pathological liar."

Cruz is running against Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate O'Rourke rakes in .1M online in August Texas showdown: Cruz, O'Rourke to face off in debate MORE (D-Texas) in November's election. O'Rourke has generated significant enthusiasm among Democrats, raising millions of dollars in the process.

While Cruz remains the favorite in the solidly-Republican Texas, a RealClearPolitics average of polls shows O'Rourke within striking distance, trailing by roughly 4 percentage points.

The Cook Political Report, a nonpolitical election forecaster, shifted the race last month from "likely Republican" to "lean Republican."

Even some in the White House have acknowledged there is a chance O'Rourke could pull off the upset. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyProtect the Military Lending Act On The Money: Midterms to shake up House finance panel | Chamber chief says US not in trade war | Mulvaney moving CFPB unit out of DC | Conservatives frustrated over big spending bills Warren suggests Mulvaney broke law by speaking to GOP donors MORE reportedly told supporters at a closed-door meeting that it was a "very real possibility" that Republicans could lose the election in Texas.