Mr Trump, for his part, spent some of that election season insulting the appearance of Mr Cruz’s wife Heidi and boosting the outlandish and false conspiracy theory that Mr Cruz’s father Rafael Cruz was involved in the assassination of President John F Kennedy in 1963.
Speaking about the future of the Republican Party and who might come to lead it, Mr Trump told Fox News contributor and podcaster Lisa Boothe on her podcastThe Truth with Lisa Boothe: “We have a lot of young, good people. [Governor] Ron DeSantis is doing a really good job in Florida, and I think [Missouri Senator] Josh Hawley has shown some real courage in going after big tech. You know, they go after him. Josh is terrific. And you know somebody that’s been really terrific is Ted Cruz.”
Recounting their previous battles, Mr Trump said: “You know, he and I had it out for a while. Actually, we were very close even during the campaign, and then he got nasty.
“The press would say, ‘when’s the nastiness going to start?’ I said, ‘don’t worry, it’ll start’. And then he got very, very, you know, rather violent and vicious. But then it simmered down and he’s been great.”
In 2018, Mr Trump declared that Mr Cruz, who endorsed Mr Trump for president in 2016 after they had hurled insults at each other, was no longer “Lyin’ Ted” but instead was now “Beautiful Ted”. Still, Mr Trump also said he didn’t “regret” implying that Rafael Cruz was involved in a presidential assassination.
Saying that “The Republican party is stacked,” Mr Trump added on Ms Boothe’s podcast that “there’s a pretty deep bench” of possible Republican 2024 contenders if he himself chose not to run.
He said that he’ll “make that decision sometime later” in reference to the next presidential cycle.
“If you look at the polls, they love the job that I’ve done. We had a 97 per cent approval at CPAC, a 97 per cent approval on policies and different things,” Mr Trump said before criticising the media over their coverage of migrants crossing the border with Mexico.
“If you also look at other networks,” he told the Fox News contributor and added: “They’re not covering the border properly, they’re making it a very small story relative to what it is.
Contrary to the statement of Mr Trump, reporters have blasted the Biden administration for the lack of access to border facilities.
“At a time when the southern border of the United States is undergoing a historic surge of migrants, it is more important than ever that journalists be allowed the necessary access to report accurately and independently on the Border Patrol’s response to the increased arrival of migrants and the well being of those housed in Border Patrol facilities,” the Radio Television Digital News Association Executive Director Dan Shelley said on Thursday.
The Independent has reached out to Mr Cruz for comment.
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