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The Brief: Cruz looks to end rivalry with Trump

In an interview Sunday, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz pledged to do all he could to assist the administration of President-elect Donald Trump in putting forth a conservative agenda.

President Donald Trump and U.S. Sen Ted Cruz.

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The Big Story

In an interview Sunday, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz showed signs of wanting to end his bitter rivalry with President-elect Donald Trump, a move that could help him recover his relevance after his own failed presidential bid.

In an interview on ABC's "This Week,” Sunday morning, Cruz praised the president-elect and promised to help the Trump administration move a conservative agenda through his position in the U.S. Senate. Here’s the story so far:

During the Republican primary campaign, Cruz called Trump “a pathological liar.” When asked about this comment during Sunday’s interview, Cruz declined to recant and said, "I’m not going to re-litigate the past. I’m going to focus on the future. I’m going to focus on what’s in front of us and on fixing the problems we have."

Cruz also praised Trump's Cabinet picks thus far, which include Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley for ambassador to the UN, among others. Not only did Cruz say Trump had gathered "an impressive, serious team,” he also argued that full GOP control of the legislative and executive branches translates into a "mandate."

Trump’s administration will lend outsized power to various Texas Republicans in the nation’s capital, including Cruz. While his detractors concede he is wily and tactical, most assume Cruz will find a way to recover his relevance. He currently chairs two subcommittees and convened dramatic hearings this fall on issues like internet sovereignty.

• While Trump passed him over for U.S. attorney general, plenty of Republicans are openly lobbying Trump to nominate Cruz to the U.S. Supreme Court. Such a nod would take Cruz out of the political ring, but it would put him in one of the most powerful positions in the country for the rest of his life. Even if that doesn’t come to fruition, however, Cruz’s 2018 Senate re-election race is already the most fascinating topic of conversation in state politics.  

What We're Reading

(Links below lead to outside websites; content might be behind paywall)

Texas’ anti-federal bills echo defiance of the Jim Crow South, threaten marriage equality and gun regulation, The Dallas Morning News

The Televangelism of Ken Paxton, Texas Monthly 

Pro-immigration forces gearing up to push public opinion, San Antonio Express-News

Lt. Gov. Patrick and allies spoiling for brawl over planned state bathroom law, Houston Chronicle 

Will Castro's death clear way for Texans to do business with Cuba?The Dallas Morning News 

Today in TribTalk

"Texas must do all it can to ensure that it remains open to business for all, including members of the LGBT community."

Caroline Joiner, Executive director for Texas and the Southeast, TechNet

Trib Events for the Calendar

•   A Symposium Previewing the 85th Legislature on Nov. 29 at The University of Texas - Texas Union Ballroom

•   A Conversation with Michael K. Young, President of Texas A&M University on Dec. 1 at The Austin Club

•   San Antonio & the Legislature: A Preview of the 85th on Dec. 2 at University of Texas at San Antonio – Downtown Campus

•   A Conversation with Sen.-elect Dawn Buckingham & Rep.-elect Hugh Shine on Dec. 8 at Temple College – Arnold Student Union

•   Health Care and the 85th Legislature on Dec. 15 at UT Health Science Center San Antonio - Pestana Lecture Hall

•   Trivia Night on Jan. 8 at The Highball 

•   A Conversation with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Jan. 11 at The Austin Club 

•   A Conversation with Reps. Dustin Burrows & Drew Darby on Jan. 19 at Howard College – West Texas Training Center

•   A Conversation with Sen. Kel Seliger & Rep. Brooks Landgraf on Feb. 17 at Odessa College – Saulsbury Campus Center

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