President Trump on Monday teamed up with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at a packed rally in Houston, where the president declared Democrats organized the migrant caravan marching toward the U.S. border and labeled Cruz’s election opponent a “stone cold phony.”
“You know how the caravan started? Does everybody know what it means? I think the Democrats had something to do with it, and now they’re saying, ‘I think we made a big mistake.’ Because people are seeing how bad it is. How pathetic it is,” Trump said. “That is an assault on our country.”
The president said there “are some very bad people” in the caravan heading to the U.S. border, which now numbers as many as 10,000. And Trump said voters aren’t happy about that, nor were they pleased with the way his Supreme Court justice nominee was treated.
“This will be the election of the caravan, Kavanaugh, tax cuts and common sense,” he said.
Trump also took aim at Cruz’s opponent, Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, calling him far too liberal for Texas.
“I think Beto O’Rourke is highly overrated,” Trump said. “What I heard about him, I figured he must be something a little special. He’s not. I thought he got beaten badly in the debates. I think he’s a highly overrated guy.”
“And he pretends to be a moderate, but he’s actually a radical, open-borders left-winger,” Trump said.
Supporters of the president began lining up outside of Houston’s 18,000-seat Toyota Center more than 24 hours before the president was set to speak. The event was moved from a 8,000-seat venue after demand outpaced supply, and even once inside the Houston Rockets home court arena, requests for tickets topped 100,000 people.
Before leaving for Texas, Trump addressed his occasional bad blood with Cruz, whom he once called “Lying’ Ted.”
“He’s not ‘Lyin’ Ted’ anymore. He’s ‘Beautiful Ted,’ ” the president said as he left the White House. “I call him ‘Texas Ted.’ … It became very nasty, and then it was over. And when it was over, we’ve gotten along great,” he told reporters at the White House. “No, I like Ted.”
Cruz also buried the hatchet. Taking the stage to introduce Trump, Cruz said: “In 2020, Donald Trump will be overwhelming reelected as President of the United States. I am honored that President Trump is here endorsing and supporting my campaign, and I look forward to campaigning beside him in 2020 for his reelection as President of the United States.”
And Cruz took aim at O’Rourke, saying the liberal Democrat “wants higher taxes. Beto voted against the tax cut.” Cruz noted that O’Rourke even supports a tax on the rain. “That is radical. That is reckless, and that is not the state of Texas,” he said.
In another interesting moment making waves on social media, Trump proudly declared himself to be a “nationalist.”
“You know, they have a word, it sort of became old-fashioned. It’s called a nationalist,” Trump told the crowd. “And I say, ‘Really?’ We’re not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I’m a nationalist. OK? I’m a nationalist.”
Trump warned against a move to globalism, which has driven his effort to put America first.
“Radical Democrats want to turn back the clock. Restore the rule of corrupt, power-hungry globalists,” he said. “A globalist is a person that wants the globe to do well, frankly not caring about our country so much. And, you know what? We can’t have that.”