Trump Announces Rally for Lyin’ Ted

Maybe he’ll finally spill the beans.

Lyin' Ted

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Newscom via ZUMA

On Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump confirmed what Texas Republicans had been hinting for weeks—he’d be coming to the Lone Star State this fall to campaign for Sen. Ted Cruz:

Trump’s visit to Texas is confirmation of what poll after poll has indicated—Cruz, the former tea party star, is in the race of his life against Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke. Even as Republican Gov. Greg Abbott appears to be cruising to reelection, Cruz is clinging to narrow, single-digit leads. One recent survey put him up just 1 point. In a place that hasn’t elected a Democrat statewide since the mid-1990s, O’Rourke has made inroads among the kinds of suburban voters who have long kept Texas red. But as the large numbers of potential Abbott–O’Rourke voters suggest, he’s also benefiting from the simplest of contrasts: Beto is easy to like, and Ted Cruz is easy to hate.

It’s fitting, then, that Trump is coming to rescue Cruz, because no one has ever played to voters’ dislike of Cruz quite as effectively as Trump did during the 2016 Republican presidential primary. Trump branded his opponent “Lyin’ Ted.” He touted a National Enquirer story alleging that the senator’s father, Rafael Cruz, had participated in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. And most infamously, he promised to “spill the beans” on the senator’s wife, Heidi Cruz. In another tweet, he contrasted an unflattering photo of her with a glamor shot of Melania Trump:

At a press conference the next day in Wisconsin, Cruz—acknowledging he wasn’t usually such an emotional open-book—addressed the future president directly: “Donald, you’re a sniveling coward.”

During his speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention, Cruz told voters to vote their conscience and refrained from endorsing Trump. The next morning he defended his decision to a room full of angry Texas delegates; he couldn’t in good conscience back a candidate who had disparaged his father and wife.

Then, a few months later, he allowed himself to be filmed at a local party office phone-banking with Trump-Pence signs in the background. Maybe, in the end, that’s what his conscience told him to do. Or maybe he’d just stopped listening to it.


as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot. That's what Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein tackles in her annual December column—"Billionaires Are Not the Answer"—about the state of journalism and our plans for the year ahead.

We can't afford to let independent reporting depend on the goodwill of the superrich: Please help Mother Jones build an alternative to oligarchy that is funded by and answerable to its readers. Please join us with a tax-deductible, year-end donation so we can keep going after the big stories without fear, favor, or false equivalency.


as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot.

Please read our annual column about the state of journalism and Mother Jones' plans for the year ahead, and help us build an alternative to oligarchy by supporting our people-powered journalism with a year-end gift today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.