President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s rally in Houston in support of Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote The Hill’s Morning Report – Trump’s public standing sags after Floyd protests GOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police MORE (R-Texas) has been moved to a larger venue because of high demand, Trump’s campaign manager announced Thursday.
The rally was initially scheduled for the 8,000-seat NRG Arena. But Brad Parscale tweeted the rally has relocated to the Toyota Center, which holds up to 19,000 people for concerts. The venue is home to the NBA’s Houston Rockets.
Response for tickets to #MAGA rally #Houston Mon 10/22 has been HUGE and unprecedented! This will be an epic rally, so we’re moving to @ToyotaCenter. Want to make sure everyone coming knows the venue changed!
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) October 18, 2018
The Toyota Center later confirmed to The Hill that it will host the event.
The Trump campaign announced on Monday that the president would head to Houston to hold a rally for his one-time rival, Cruz.
The initial choice of NRG Arena was a subject of mockery on social media, as the president pledged in August to hold a “major rally” at “the biggest stadium in Texas we can find.”
An aide for the Trump campaign who asked not to be identified told The Dallas Morning News that the arena was the biggest location available on Oct. 22, and disputed that the venue fell short of expectations the president set in his August tweet.
The Toyota Center did not have other publicly announced events scheduled for Monday. Comedian Kevin Hart is set to perform there on Saturday, and a Josh Groban concert is set for Tuesday.
Monday’s rally will add to a long list of campaign events Trump has held in recent weeks to bolster GOP Senate candidates. The president has made stops in Tennessee, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Ohio, and will travel this week to Montana, Arizona and Nevada.
Cruz’s race against Rep. Beto O’RourkeBeto O’RourkeBiden will help close out Texas Democrats’ virtual convention: report O’Rourke on Texas reopening: ‘Dangerous, dumb and weak’ Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House MORE (D-Texas) has drawn national interest as the challenger has garnered significant fundraising hauls in traditionally Republican Texas.
However, polls of late show Cruz maintaining a steady lead. A RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Cruz with a 7-point lead in the race.
Trump and Cruz have been publicly supportive of one another after a 2016 presidential campaign in which the two regularly exchanged insults. The president labeled Cruz “Lyin’ Ted,” and the senator blasted then-candidate Trump as a “sniveling coward” and a “pathological liar.”
Updated at 4:38 p.m.
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