Not to mention "bully," "narcissist," "utterly amoral," and "terrified of strong women."
That would be Donald Trump, who had beaten Cruz for the Republican presidential nomination -- after a primary race that began with Cruz warmly embracing Trump. But it deteriorated to trading knee jabs in delicate places.
Cruz finally decided to endorse Trump, he said, to avoid the election of Democrat Hillary Clinton. He said a third-party choice, or not voting, wasn't an option.
He also credited Trump's plans to appoint a conservative justice for the U.S. Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by the death of outspoken conservative justice Antonin Scalia.
"A very important development this week was that Trump laid out a list of nominees for Supreme Court and my friend Mike Lee was on the top of the list," Cruz said. Lee is one of Cruz's few friends in the senate.
Also, some Republican officials were saying the party disloyalty of not endorsing Trump could endanger Cruz's political future.
Cruz is already campaigning for re-election to his U.S. Senate seat in 2018, and is presumed to have his sights set on another run for president in 2020 – unless he loses his senate job.
Austin U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, openly considering running against Cruz in 2018, said “I think what he did at the convention turned off a lot of people. I mean, he pledged to support [Trump]. He broke his word."
And Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who had chaired Cruz's primary campaign, but now heads Trump's campaign in Texas, said in a radio interview that Cruz not backing Trump could cause him to "be left in the rearview mirror of the Republican Party moving forward."
Add the warning of Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, on "Face the Nation," about GOP pols snubbing Trump.
"Those people need to get on board," Priebus said. “And if they’re thinking they’re going to run again some day, I think that we’re going to evaluate the process – of the nomination process and I don’t think it’s going to be that easy for them.”
Cruz had fawned over Trump early in the campaign, calling him "terrific" and having him join in a rally protesting the Iranian nuclear deal.
But as the campaign wore on, their verbal swords began to be used on each other.
Those finally included not just Trump calling Cruz "Lyin' Ted," but also posting on social media an unflattering picture of Cruz's wife Heidi, and mentioning a National Enquirerstory claiming Cruz's Cuban-born father Rafael was a cohort of Lee Harvey Oswald, President John F. Kennedy's assassin.
Trump won the nomination, Cruz, speaking at the Republican National Convention in July, dramatically refrained from endorsing Trump.
Delegates should "vote your conscience," Cruz said – and was roundly booed.
The next day, at a Texas delegation breakfast that included many delegates pledged to Cruz, he defended his non-endorsement, despite his earlier pledge to support the winner of the GOP nomination.
"I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and who attack my father," Cruz said.
"And that pledge was not a blanket commitment that if you go and slander and attack Heidi that I'm going to nonetheless come like a servile puppy dog and say 'Thank you very much for maligning my wife and maligning my father.'"
On Saturday ((Sept. 24)), the day after Cruz endorsed Trump, Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith at the Tribfest 2016 asked Cruz if he and Trump had talked recently. Cruz said they had.
So, Smith asked, did Trump apologize for the slurs of Cruz's wife and father?
"No," Cruz replied.
Smith asked whether Cruz just "caved" from the pressure from other Republicans, even though he knew it would – and did – disappoint a lot of his supporters.
Cruz said he was trapped in a situation where no matter whether he said he'd vote for Trump, or continued to hold out, his decision would please some and anger others.
"There are people who are weeping," Cruz said. "There are other people who are celebrating."
Trump, for his part, had said after Cruz's snub at the Republican convention that he didn't need Cruz's endorsement, and wouldn't accept if it offered.
As is the case with these political healings, that changed after Cruz's capitulation.
"I am greatly honored by the endorsement of Senator Cruz," Trump said in a statement Friday ((9/23)) "We have fought the battle and he was a tough and brilliant opponent. I look forward to working with him for many years to come in order to make America great again."
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