Two years ago, Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted that nominating Donald Trump — who gave him the moniker “Lyin’ Ted” — would be a “train wreck.”
Now Cruz is enthusiastically on the same train.
At the Faith & Freedom Coalition's Washington conference Thursday, the Texas Republican lauded the “major victories” of the Trump administration so far as he lavishly praised the president.
Cruz explained his mission at the outset: “I want to reflect on some of the incredible victories we have had: for faith, for family, for the values we share,” he said.
Cruz, who sought the 2016 Republican presidential nomination and at various points called Trump a "sniveling coward," amoral and narcissistic, this time praised Trump’s executive decisions. Cruz cited the 2017 nomination of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and the relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, as notable triumphs for family and Christian values.
Attendees at the gathering of conservatives, many who have longtime Cruz fans, were pleased with both the senator and the president.
Lynn Dirienzo, who commended both Trump and Cruz, said she thinks Congressional Republicans are getting on board with Trump’s agenda.
“They’re coming around, honestly. I think they’re seeing the effectiveness. What [Trump]’s doing, what he’s getting done,” she said.
In 2015, the conference was a proving ground for Republican candidates vying for the vote of these staunch conservatives. This year, attendees saw it as an opportunity for renewed unity.
“I think [Cruz] is a good way to bridge avid Trump supporters and more moderate conservatives,” said Samuel Church, a politics and business student at Ohio Christian University. “He’s kind of a good buffer between those two.”
Margaret Nunez, from Tucson, Arizona, said the differences between the two during primary season matter less than their common ideals.
“The divisions may be more political, rather than value-based,” Nunez said.
“It’s very clear that he has a strong voice and to some degree he has the president’s ear,” said Charles Pope, a Catholic priest from Washington.