President Trump joined virtual town halls for two Republican Texas House candidates Monday night whom he has backed in GOP primaries in the state.
Trump joined town halls for Tony Gonzales and Ronny Jackson, who are running to replace retiring Republican Texas Reps. Will Hurd and Mac Thornberry, respectively.
Trump told supporters during a virtual event that Jackson, a former White House physician and retired Navy rear admiral, has “been with us from the beginning.”
"This is the kind of people we need coming to Washington help us. He's loyal, he's brave, he's a leader, and he'll never let the people of Texas down,” Trump said.
Trump endorsed Jackson in February, saying that he is “strong on Crime and Borders, GREAT for our Military and Vets, and will protect your [Second Amendment].” The president nominated Jackson to be the head of Veterans Affairs in 2018, but he withdrew the nomination after allegations of misconduct by Jackson were raised.
Later Monday, Trump also lauded Gonzales at a tele-town hall. Trump has recorded robocalls for each of the candidates that went out to voters in the Lone Star State on Monday.
"He's a conservative guy," Trump said on Monday of Gonzales, The Texas Tribune reported, "but he's a conservative guy that's gonna win — because we have to win, and you know, that's a very important element of it. That's one of the reasons I'm doing this. I studied it very closely. We need somebody that's gonna beat their candidate, and that candidate can absolutely be beaten."
Trump also lashed out at Gina Ortiz Jones, a Democrat running for Hurd's seat, linking her to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and calling her “a Pelosi candidate, a Pelosi special, as liberal as can be," according to the Tribune.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has previously endorsed Gonzales’s rival, Raul Reyes. Cruz also appeared in a tele-town hall with Reyes on Monday, during which he confirmed that he urged the president not to back Gonzales.
"I did talk to the president," Cruz said. "Actually he called me on a different matter and I told him that he should not get involved in this race, not endorse the way he's endorsed."
"At the end of the day, the president followed different advice, but it was not advice that was looking for who the strong conservative was in the race and I think that was unfortunate," Cruz said, according to The Texas Tribune.
Jackson and Gonzales will be on the ballot Tuesday in runoff elections in the state.