WASHINGTON – Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump and former campaign rival Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, have apparently buried the hatchet and patched up their differences during a meeting on Capitol Hill.
A Cruz spokeswoman issued a statement announcing Trump has invited the senator to speak at the Republican convention. Cruz said he accepted Trump’s offer.
Cruz called Thursday’s meeting “positive and productive,” but there was no mention of any endorsement.
There was an indication the two may begin to work together, as the statement said Trump would seek the senator’s advice on future judicial nominations.
In fact, a senior Trump campaign official told CNN that the two have agreed to stop working against each other, and to work together on those policy issues in which they share common ground.
It was the first time the pair have met since Cruz dropped out of the presidential race two months ago.
They met with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus at the National Republican Senatorial Committee headquarters in Washington, around noon.
Cruz and Trump were notably friendly and avoided attacks on each other during the early phase of the primary race, when there more than a dozen contenders.
But in the final stage of the campaign, as the race narrowed down to just the two of them, the relationship turned extremely bitter, with Trump relentlessly hammering Cruz as “Lyin’ Ted,” and the senator returning fire with fire.
In March, Trump somewhat mysteriously warned Cruz to be careful or he would “spill the beans on your wife.” Trump also retweeted a comparison of the two candidates’ wives, which he later said he regretted.
Trump suggested Cruz’s father appeared in a photo with President John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald months prior to the president being shot.
Cruz fought back, calling Trump a “serial philanderer,” “pathological liar” and a “narcissist.”
He also termed Trump an elitist with “New York values.”
But now the relationship appears to be on the mend.
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Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier issued a statement that announced Trump and Cruz “had a good meeting this morning.”
The statement concluded, “Mr. Trump also asked Sen. Cruz for his counsel on future judicial nominations, and Cruz responded he would continue to do everything he can to help ensure principled constitutionalists on the courts.”
A meeting Trump had earlier with other Senate Republicans was not as cordial, at least, according to the New York Times.
The candidate reportedly had a heated exchange with Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., who has been extremely critical of Trump. According to the paper, at one point Trump asked Sasse if he would rather have Hillary Clinton as president.
No fences were apparently mended between those two.
A spokesman for Sasse told the Times, “Mr. Sasse continues to believe that our country is in a bad place and, with these two candidates, this election remains a Dumpster fire.”
Also, according to the paper, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., objected to Trump about his characterization of illegal immigrants crossing the Mexican border, calling the candidate’s language about Hispanics offensive.
The Times reported, “Trump responded dismissively.”
A meeting between House Republicans and Trump was reportedly more upbeat, focusing on such issues as border security, Second Amendment rights and repealing Obamacare.
House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., called the meeting “great,” and another member told the paper that House Republicans gave Trump at least “two or three” standing ovations.