Updated at 7:20 p.m.: Revised to include comment from Rep. Beto O'Rourke, after being revised earlier with Sen. Ted Cruz welcoming the announcement made three hours earlier, and aides insisting he wasn't booed when President Donald Trump endorsed him at the NRA convention.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump announced Friday that he'll come to Texas in October to hold a "major rally" for Sen. Ted Cruz in the biggest stadium in Texas.
The revelation that he would come to the rescue of a man he derided as "Lyin' Ted" during the 2016 presidential campaign came in a tweet, weeks after Cruz had said he would welcome Trump's help in his effort to fend off El Paso Rep. Beto O'Rourke — and after Cruz aides insisted the senator hadn't actually asked the president to stump for him.
Cruz waited three hours before publicly acknowledging Trump's plan, calling it "terrific!"
Trump is deeply divisive, even in conservative Texas, and Democrats insisted that his involvement in the race will benefit their side at least as much as Cruz.
"I'm picking the biggest stadium in Texas we can find. As you know, Ted has my complete and total Endorsement. His opponent is a disaster for Texas - weak on Second Amendment, Crime, Borders, Military, and Vets!" Trump tweeted.
At least one venue in Texas holds more than 180,000, so that's a Texas-sized promise.
The president has made his support for Cruz's reelection plain for months. But this was the first time he has attacked the challenger as he comes to the aide of an erstwhile rival who called the future president a "pathological liar" and worse at the height of the 2016 contest.
They've become close allies since Trump's election. Cruz has wrapped himself in the president's tax and immigration policies and lauded him for stocking federal courts with conservatives.