President Donald Trump told reporters on Monday he and Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) get along well, saying the senator is now "Beautiful Ted" as opposed to his 2016 campaign nickname of "Lyin' Ted."
In response to whether Trump still thought of Cruz as "Lyin' Ted," the president responded, "He's not ‘Lyin' Ted' anymore. He's ‘Beautiful Ted.' I call him ‘Texas Ted.'"
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"I like him a lot. I actually like him a lot, and he's a very smart guy. He loves the people of Texas, which I do," Trump continued.
The president is scheduled to be in Houston Monday night for a rally with Cruz.
The president was later asked if he regretted his suggestion during the campaign that Cruz's father was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
"I don't regret anything, honestly. It all worked out very nicely, Trump said.
The president did go after Cruz's opponent, Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke (Texas), calling him "overrated."
"I think Beto O'Rourke is highly overrated," said Trump. "When I heard about him, I figured he must be something a little special. He's not. I thought he got beat badly in the debates. I think he's a highly overrated guy."
During a debate last week, O'Rourke attacked Cruz as dishonest and mentioned Trump's nickname for the senator from the presidential campaign.
"Senator Cruz is not going to be honest with you," said O’Rourke. "He’s dishonest, and it’s why the president called him ‘Lyin’ Ted,' and it’s why the nickname stuck — because it’s true."
In an interview with ABC that aired on Sunday, O'Rourke walked back his comment, saying, "That wasn't the best phrase for me to use, but, you know, I'm going to do my best to stay focused on the future."
Cruz leads O'Rourke in the RealClearPolitics polling average of the Texas Senate race by 7 points, and he has led in every poll taken in October.