Donald Trump Calls Ted Cruz ‘Beautiful Ted’ Before Houston Rally, Doesn’t Regret Calling Him ‘Lyin’ Ted’
The description of 47-year-old Cruz — who is running for re-election in Texas this year against Democratic state Rep. Beto O’Rourke — was in sharp contrast to the one Trump gave him during the 2016 election when the two were aggressively competing to secure the GOP nomination for president. At the time, Trump called the senator “Lyin’ Ted” several times — one of dozens of monikers Trump gave to his opponents in 2016, like “Crooked Hillary” and “Crazy Bernie” — and even went after his wife Heidi Cruz‘s physical appearance. Trump also pushed the theory that the senator’s father Rafael Cruz was involved in the conspiracy to assassinate John F. Kennedy.
“He’s not Lyin’ Ted anymore. He’s Beautiful Ted,” Trump said before traveling to Houston on Monday. “I call him Texas Ted.”
According to Politico, Trump brushed off a question about whether he felt remorse for his nasty remarks about Cruz and his family during the 2016 campaign.
“I don’t regret anything, honestly,” Trump stated. “It all worked out very nicely.”
Trump also blasted O’Rourke at one point on Monday.
“I think Beto O’Rourke is highly overrated,” Trump said of the 46-year-old Democrat. “When I heard about him, I thought he must be something special, he’s not.”
Recent polls show Cruz leading O’Rourke by roughly nine points.
Trump has changed his opinion on many political leaders throughout his time as president. Although he initially had a very tense relationship with and exchanged insults with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, the pair of leaders ultimately softened their tone and Trump has praised Kim ever since the infamous denuclearization summit in Singapore in June.
Comedian Stephen Colbert mocked Trump for his change of heart about Cruz in his Late Show monologue on Monday.
“Look, c’mon you guys, it all worked out,” Colbert said, impersonating Trump. “I won and Ted Cruz’s dad never killed again. Although I gotta say, I’m hearing troubling reports that he was seen at that consulate in Istanbul a few weeks ago,” he added, referring to the case surrounding Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in Turkey this month.