Skip to main content

Key Moments in Ted Cruz and Donald Trump’s Rocky Relationship

The pair began the presidential race as allies, but quickly became foes as Trump assumed front-runner status.

GOP presidential contenders Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz at the CNN debate in Las Vegas, Nevada on Dec. 15, 2015.

Ted Cruz and Donald Trump’s months-long feud may have come to an end on Friday when Cruz, a Trump holdout, endorsed the Republican presidential nominee.

The two had a rough road through the primary. Their friendship devolved from allies to worst enemies, and Cruz went so far as to call Trump a “sniveling coward.” After Cruz snubbed Trump during the Republican convention in Cleveland, Trump announced he didn’t even want Cruz’s endorsement. Here's a history of the broken bromance in their own words.

“I'm a big fan of Donald Trump's, but not a fan of government registries of American citizens.”

— Nov. 20, 2015Cruz distances himself over Trump’s then-proposed Muslim registry.

— Dec. 11, 2015Cruz blames “establishment” Republicans for goading a Trump fight.

“He’s got to come a long way because he’s right now for the oil. I understand it. Oil pays him a lot of money. He’s got to be for oil, right? The oil companies give him a lot of money, but I’m with you.”

— Dec. 11, 2015: Trump goes on the offensive against Cruz for the first time.

“Republicans are going to have to ask themselves the question: ‘Do we want a candidate who could be tied up in court for two years?’ That’d be a big problem.”

— Jan. 4, 2016: Trump suggests Cruz’s Canadian birth could present legal challenge to his candidacy.

Jan. 5, 2016: Cruz responds with a "Happy Days" clip of Fonzie jumping the shark. 

“Ted Cruz is a totally unstable individual. He is the single biggest liar I’ve ever come across, in politics or otherwise, and I have seen some of the best of them.”

— Feb. 15, 2016: Trump threatens to sue Cruz “if he doesn’t take down his false ads and retract his lies” five days before the South Carolina primary.

“It’s time for Trump to come clean and release his tax returns. If he’s not been completely honest or has supported the most radical left-wing groups in America, voters deserve to know.”

— Feb. 27, 2016: After releasing his own taxes, Cruz presses for Trump to do the same.

“Donald, you're a sniveling coward, and leave Heidi the hell alone.”

March 24, 2016: Cruz hits back after Trump escalates attacks against Cruz’s wife, Heidi Cruz, which began with Trump tweeting a threat to "spill the beans" about her.

“Donald needs to understand he's not Michael Corleone. I understand Donald has had some very shady business deals with people that are currently in prison — mobsters — but the presidency should not be La Cosa Nostra.”

— April 12, 2016Cruz compares Trump to the protagonist of the "Godfather" movies.

 “Donald Trump is a serial philanderer, and he boasts about it. This is not a secret. He's proud of being a serial philanderer. I want everyone to think about your teenage kids. The president of the United States talks about how great it is to commit adultery, how proud he is, describes his battles with venereal disease as his own personal Vietnam.”

— May 3, 2016: Cruz ramps up Trump attacks shortly before losing the Indiana primary and dropping out of the race.

“Today's ridiculous outburst only proves what I have been saying for a long time, that Ted Cruz does not have the temperament to be President of the United States.”

— May 3, 2016: Trump dismisses Cruz as “desperate.”

“What Ted did is a great thing to do because we want to bring unity to the Republican party.”

— May 3, 2016: Trump commends Cruz for dropping his presidential bid.

“To those listening, please don’t stay home in November. Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”

July 20, 2016: Cruz declines to endorse Trump in a primetime speech at the Republican National Convention.

“I don't want his endorsement. If he gives it, I will not accept it."

July 22, 2016: Trump slams Cruz for not endorsing him, and suggests setting up super PAC to oppose him in 2020.

More on the 2016 presidential campaign:

Texans need truth. Help us report it.

Support independent Texas news

Become a member. Join today.

Donate now

Explore related story topics

2016 elections Ted Cruz