But at a campaign rally in Indianapolis the following day, Trump was back to his old tricks.
There was a brief glimmer of the "presidential" Trump early in the afternoon rally when a heckler interrupted the candidate's opening remarks. "Get 'em out! Get 'em out," Trump called to his security personnel. But instead of his usual rough-em-up talk, Trump added this time, "Don't hurt 'em, of course."
"Never ends. It never ends. But it does make it exciting," Trump said of the disruptive demonstrations that have come to characterize his campaign events, sometimes sparking violence.
But he quickly disappointed all those pundits who thought they smelled a Trump strategy to be more presidential in his New York speech, in which he referred to his GOP rival as "Senator Cruz" and not the usual "Lyin' Ted."
In his first public remarks on Wednesday, Trump was right back at it: "In the case of Lyin' Ted Cruz – Lyin' Ted – he brings the Bible, holds it high, puts it down, lies."
And Trump trotted out again the moniker he recently assigned Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton. "I love running against crooked Hillary. Better. Better. Bernie wouldn't be much fun."
The GOP front-runner has been promising for months to show the press and the public that he really can be "presidential," and many politicos argued he proved just that with his speech Tuesday night. "Stepping out with his family to the brassy strains of Frank Sinatra's 'New York, New York,' Trump sounded like a more disciplined candidate as he claimed victory in a short statement at … Trump Tower. Gone were Trump's signature personal insults; he referred to 'Senator Cruz,' not 'Lyin' Ted,' " write The Washington Post's Jenna Johnson and Philip Rucker.
"He seems to have heeded advice from his wife and daughters to tone down his rhetoric," Johnson writes in another article. "He is tweeting less, skipping the Sunday news shows where pointed questions have recently tripped him up, reading from notes at rallies and refocusing on the economic issues that first brought him success early in the campaign. There are plans for him to soon give a series of policy speeches, perhaps with the assistance of a teleprompter – a device that to him once symbolized the bloodless establishment."
Twitter, too, was impressed by Trump's turn for the presidential.
I like that he didn't call him Lyin' Ted. Much more presidential. He rocks and he rolls! Love me some TRUMP! https://t.co/9zonqehswJ— All In This Time (@rth1065) April 20, 2016
https://t.co/OjwdCnzHXk— Texas for Trump (@BigStick2013) April 20, 2016
Trump victory speech has a noticeable change in tone, very Presidential
Gone is "Lyin' Ted." In its place is "Senator Cruz." Not an accident.— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) April 20, 2016
But other Twitter users were still skeptical.
How many neo-Nazis can you retweet & still have the press say you're acting "presidential?" More than 0 apparently.https://t.co/XyGUxqQneN— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) April 20, 2016
Trump gave up his chance to change his "tone" by saying more outrageous things than all presidential candidates of last 40 yrs combined— Kyle Kondik (@kkondik) April 20, 2016
Now the "Well Trump didn't cuss tonight-he's way more presidential now" portion of this debacle— Tucker Martin (@jtuckermartin) April 20, 2016
May we all have such low bars to jump over
One of Trump's top surrogates warned voters that they hadn't heard the last of "Lyin' Ted."
"I wouldn't be so sure to erase that," senior adviser Sarah Huckabee Sanders said earlier Wednesday in an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo on New Day. "My guess is it will still pop up from time to time."
That didn't take long.