People are using an old photo of Ted Cruz to roast the senator for ‘bending’ to Trump

An old photo of President Donald Trump shaking hands with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is making the rounds—and being mocked—as the senator and the president prepare for Monday night’s rally together and gloss over the animosity that has long defined their relationship.

Trump infamously lobbed insults against Cruz and his family during their 2016 campaigns. In addition to frequently called Cruz “Lyin’ Ted,” Trump bad-mouthed Cruz’s wife and suggested Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Cruz, in response, once called Trump a “sniveling coward.”

But Trump told ABC News in a press conference Monday that he has new nicknames for Cruz. “He’s not ‘Lyin’ Ted anymore,” he said. “He’s beautiful Ted.” Trump also called the senator “Texas Ted.”

MSNBC political analyst Rick Tyler described the Republicans’ apparent reconciling as “transactional” while CNN’s John Green compared the strategy to The Game of Thrones

“Cruz has basically bended the knee and submitted to Trump’s authority,” Green said. “And in return he’s being rewarded with a trip that will presumably help him gin up Republican enthusiasm.”

In its report on the subject, Newsweek on Monday tweeted a photo taken last year at a flood relief center for hurricane survivors in Houston. The visual of Cruz slightly bowing his head as he shakes Trump’s hand struck many as an apt metaphor for Cruz’s acceptance of Trump’s support. It invited plenty more mockery.

Trump and Cruz will appear together Monday night at a rally at Houston’s Toyota Center ahead of the senator’s tight reelection race against Beto O’Rourke.


Kris Seavers

Kris Seavers

Kris Seavers is the IRL editor for the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.