Politics

Battle Between Trump And Cruz Goes Nuclear

CREDIT: AP Photo/John Locher

The bromance between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump is officially over. The two leading candidates for the Republican nomination had previously pledged not to attack each other. Now, all bets are off.

In a series of Tweets over the weekend, Trump blasted Cruz — who accused Trump of representing “New York values” — as a hypocrite, a pawn of special interests and a Canadian:

Then on Sunday, Trump took things a step further, casting Cruz as nasty and unlikable:

Cruz is now Trump’s closest competitor, and has pivoted to direct attacks on the frontrunner, after months of tepid support. In a comments to POLITICO, Cruz’s campaign chairman suggested Trump was only pretending to be a Christian:

I think it’s interesting that Trump … basically said at [a] family values forum he’s never asked for forgiveness, but yet he is Christian. I would ask most Christians the question, “What is the first thing you do to become a Christian?” Christians know what the answer to that question is.

Cruz is also pushing a 1999 video of Trump on Meet the Press saying he is pro-choice and supportive of gay rights, stances he has now disavowed, and attributing his politics to his New York upbringing:

The attacks represent a change in the Republican presidential race. While Trump has pulled no punches during his months-long reign at the head of the polls, Cruz is a new target — and Cruz has been careful up to this point about not alienating Trump’s legions of supporters.

As recently as December, Cruz commended Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States.

Cruz’s campaign manager told Politico the candidate is now trying to show the differences between the evangelical Christian and the blustery business mogul.

“Iowa is three weeks away,” Rick Tyler said. “People want to know how you’re different. It’s time to tell how we’re different.”