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Trump says he's ditched Lyin' Ted name: 'He's Beautiful Ted'

POLITICO logo POLITICO 10/22/2018 By Matthew Choi
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Video by the Associated Press

President Donald Trump let bygones be bygones Monday with his former rival presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, praising the Texas Republican before heading to Houston to rally for him.

When the two men were duking it out for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Trump famously hurled insults at Cruz, christening him with one of Trump's signature monikers: "Lyin' Ted." Trump also went after Cruz's family, suggesting Cruz's father was involved in the John F. Kennedy assassination and targeting Cruz's wife Heidi for her appearance.

But the president made a reversal of his past insults as he prepared for his highly anticipated rally in support of Cruz's Senate reelection campaign.

"He's not Lyin' Ted anymore. He's Beautiful Ted," Trump said. "I call him Texas Ted."

Still, when asked if he regretted his comments about Cruz's father, Trump demurred and played the comments off as part of a "very, very nasty and tough campaign."

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

Trump spoke while leaving the White House for Houston, where he will rally in support of Cruz, who faces a challenge from Rep. Beto O'Rourke. O'Rourke has captured national attention for his strong showing against Texas conservatives who have dominated the state's politics for decades. Last quarter, O'Rourke raised more money than any Senate candidate in a single quarter in American history.

But Trump was not impressed. Responding to reporters Monday, the president dismissed the viral candidate while reasserting his support for Cruz.

"I think Beto O'Rourke is highly overrated," Trump said. "When I heard about him, I thought he must be something special, he's not."

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