WASHINGTON AND HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM) – In a reversal from the 2016 presidential election, President Trump has gone from calling Texas Senator Ted Cruz “Lyin’ Ted” to “beautiful” and “Texas” Ted.
As President Trump was leaving Washington to campaign for the senator in Houston Monday night, he told reporters he and Sen. Cruz have moved on from 2016 and now work very well together.
The president also attacked Cruz’s challenger, Congressman Beto O’Rourke.
“I think Beto O’Rourke is highly overrated. When I heard about him I figured he must something a little special. He’s not. I thought he got beaten badly at the debates. I think he’s a highly overrated guy,” said President Trump.
Earlier in the day, President Trump tweeted, “Big night in Texas!!!!”
Thousands of Trump supporter arrived outside the Toyota Center in Houston early Monday morning.
Dozens slept outside there last night.
The arena holds 18,000 people.
President Trump announced at the end of August he would hold a rally for Sen. Cruz and to help Texas Republicans get out the vote.
“I think it’ll be an awesome experience even out here and I think it’s awesome just being around people who share the same values as you,” said Kiara Owens, a home-schooled teen from Fort Worth.
“I’m real excited,” said Rhett Caraway, also of Fort Worth. “This is probably one of the most exciting things that I’ve ever done, probably second to getting married and having children.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick will also speak at the rally Monday evening.
Senator Ted Cruz has been locked in a close battle against his Democrat challenger, Congressman Beto O’Rourke of El Paso, who has outraised him about three to one, and who’s within single digits.
Though recently, Cruz has widened his lead over O’Rourke in the polls to an average seven points.
Supporters told CBS 11 they’re cautiously optimistic.
“The polls are pretty close right now, but I’m not too worried about it because he’s had a lot of support in Texas,” said supporter Judah Payer. “He’s the better candidate for Texas as a whole.”
Supporter Diane Sulpizio added, “There could always be an upset but we’re a prayerful people. I think we’re going to pull it out. I really do. I think Cruz is going to is going to be our guy for another six years.”