Sen. Ted Cruz will back Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, according to two people familiar with the situation, the latest chapter in a rocky relationship between the two men that has ricocheted from fawning expressions of support to searing personal insults to, now, a kind detente.
The Texas senator is expected to voice some type of support for Trump either Friday or Saturday, the people said. It is unclear whether Cruz will formally endorse the GOP nominee or just say that he plans to vote for him. A spokeswoman for Cruz did not respond requests for comment.
The decision marks a politically risky move for Cruz, who pointedly refused to endorse Trump during a prime-time speech at the Republican National Convention in July. Cruz exhorted Republicans to “vote your conscience” and said he was standing on truth and principle. At a tense breakfast with the Texas delegation the following morning, Cruz said he wasn’t going to “act like a servile puppy dog” and back Trump.
“No, this is not politics,” Cruz said at the time. “I will tell the truth.”
The truth, Cruz said, was that Trump had personally attacked his wife, Heidi, and father, Rafael. The Republican presidential nominee accused Rafael Cruz of associating with Lee Harvey Oswald around the time of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Trump also retweeted an unflattering photo of Heidi Cruz contrasted with a photo of Trump’s wife Melania, a retired model.
“I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father,” Cruz said in July. Previously, he told Trump to “leave Heidi the hell alone.”
Trump had also questioned whether Cruz, who was born in Canada, was eligible to run for president; Cruz has long said that he qualifies as a natural-born citizen because his mother was born in Delaware. The two men spent months lobbing nasty insults at one another, with Trump calling Cruz “Lyin’ Ted” and Cruz calling Trump a “pathological liar” who is “utterly amoral.”