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

Texas lieutenant governor urged for Trump to visit to bolster Cruz: report
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Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick personally requested President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ MORE get involved in Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO'Rourke mulling another Senate run as well as presidential bid Texas senator introduces bill to produce coin honoring Bushes Trump working on labels for 2020 Dems: report 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."

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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'RourkeO'Rourke mulling another Senate run as well as presidential bid The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race Barack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report 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 MulvaneyOvernight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Trump, Dems open drug price talks | FDA warns against infusing young people's blood | Facebook under scrutiny over health data | Harris says Medicare for all isn't socialism White House spokeswoman leaving to join PR firm Trump’s state of emergency declaration imperils defense budget MORE reportedly told supporters at a closed-door meeting that it was a "very real possibility" that Republicans could lose the election in Texas.