On Wednesday night, President Donald Trump and his wife Melania had dinner with Texas Senator Ted Cruz and his family. The senator even shared a picture of his daughters at the Resolute Desk with Trump in the early hours of Thursday morning. Did this meeting show that Trump has reconciled with Cruz’s family, whom he insulted during the 2016 Republican primary?
“Our family had dinner w the President & First Lady, who were warm & gracious. Catherine brought Joe–her kindergarten class stuffed giraffe!” Cruz said in a Twitter post.
Our family had dinner w the President & First Lady, who were warm & gracious. Catherine brought Joe–her kindergarten class stuffed giraffe! pic.twitter.com/fJ5GvuZ98B
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 9, 2017
The 2016 Republican primary proved particularly ugly and personal. Trump and his surrogates attacked Cruz’s father and his wife. (Even his kids were not off-limits, as The Washington Post published a political cartoon mocking 8-year-old Caroline and 5-year-old Catherine.) To be fair, a pro-Cruz PAC had attacked Melania first, but as the senator pointed out that was not his doing.
Trump retweeted a message attacking Heidi Cruz as ugly, and his account has not deleted the tweet, even now.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2016
After Trump fired this salvo, Cruz responded with class. “Donald, real men don’t attack women. Your wife is lovely, and Heidi is the love of my life,” the senator tweeted.
Donald, real men don't attack women. Your wife is lovely, and Heidi is the love of my life. https://t.co/pprXhIMzUT
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 24, 2016
Sources have not confirmed how the reconciliation happened, if indeed it did. But Cruz’s tweet from early Thursday morning suggests that the two prominent Republicans — and their families — have put the past behind them.
After infamously refusing to endorse Trump at the Republican National Convention in July, Cruz eventually backed the businessman in September. Even this came as somewhat of a surprise, given the bad blood between the Republican nominee and “Lyin’ Ted.”
This dinner meeting was significant, as it is the first time Cruz’s entire family is reported to have sat down with Trump and his wife to bury the hatchet. Some might consider it shameful for Heidi and the two girls to meet with Trump without the president apologizing first, but if Trump has apologized, that is not public knowledge.
On Wednesday, Press Secretary Sean Spicer refused to answer a question as to whether the president planned to apologize to Heidi.
Q from @HallieJackson: Is Trump going to apologize to Ted & Heidi Cruz at dinner tonight?
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) March 8, 2017
It’s admirable that the families are burying the hatchet, but many conservatives think a public apology is in order. After all, Heidi did not pose for the picture with Trump at the Resolute Desk. Does that mean anything?