‘Beautiful Ted’: Trump and Cruz bury the hatchet as midterm anxiety mounts

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Two years ago they were sworn enemies, but with a handshake, a hug and a sycophantic prediction that “in 2020, Donald Trump will be overwhelmingly reelected as president of the United States,” the real-estate mogul’s victory over the Texas senator was complete.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Ted Cruz is coming under extreme pressure from his Democratic challenger, Beto O’Rourke, in the fight for his Texas senate seat. Trump is turning to an increasingly fantastical narrative of fear and falsehoods as he tries to shore up Republican control of Congress in the November midterm elections.

So the toxic relationship of 2016 was forgotten and the man who once coined the phrase “Lyin’ Ted” bestowed a new epithet, “Beautiful Ted”.

“God Bless Texas and God Bless President Donald Trump,” Ted Cruz declared at a rally in a Houston basketball arena as Trump made unsubstantiated claims that Democrats were “encouraging millions of illegal aliens to break our laws, violate our borders and overwhelm our nation”.

This was the first of four scheduled Trump rallies this week. He dubbed O’Rourke “a stone-cold phony” in a more than hour-long speech that alighted on many of his favourite topics: immigration, tax cuts, border security, terrorism, jobs, the economy, the supreme court, healthcare, the military, fossil fuels – and globalisation.

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