Trump Announces Rally for Lyin’ Ted

Maybe he’ll finally spill the beans.

Lyin' Ted

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Newscom via ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

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.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend