Sen. Ted Cruz may come to regret calling Indiana an “absolutely pivotal” state.
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is hoping to score a knockout punch against Cruz with a major victory in the Indiana primary on Tuesday.
Appearing at several campaign rallies across the state on Monday, Trump relentlessly doubled down on his personal attacks on Cruz, in an attempt to bury him once and for all and virtually lock down the GOP race.
Trump’s jabs at the senator ranged from Cruz’s questioning of the legitimacy of Trump’s plan to build a border wall with Mexico, to his renowned skills as a debater.
“I think he’s crazy, honestly, I think he’s crazy,” Trump said at a rally Tuesday night.
He went on to question Cruz’s “temperament,” a line of criticism often aimed at Trump.
“Ted does not have the temperament to be doing this. He’s choking like a dog because he’s losing so badly. We’ve got to put him away tomorrow, folks,” Trump said.
Cruz has campaigned vigorously in the state, which was seen as more favourable to his candidacy.
The senator spent last week’s primary night in Indiana, a signal that he was focused on the importance of the Hoosier State contest rather than the five states he lost to Trump last Tuesday. Cruz also chose Indiana as the location to announce his potential vice presidential running mate, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. On Monday, Cruz made five campaign stops, while his wife Heidi Cruz and other high profile surrogates appeared at five separate stops without him.
But the Cruz campaign has encountered a number of late setbacks in the Hoosier State. Recent surveys have shown Trump with a sizeable lead over the Texas senator.
A NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday found Trump with a 15-point lead over the senator among likely Indiana Republican primary voters.
Cruz’s plan to consolidate anti-Trump support also fell through.
Last week, Cruz attempted to forge an alliance with Ohio Gov. John Kasich to convince the governor’s supporters to vote for Cruz in the state in order to stymie Trump. But the pact
quickly fell apart.
Trump brimmed with confidence during a “Fox News Sunday” interview when asked whether Indiana would essentially end the Republican race.
“Yes, it’s over,” Trump said. “It’s already over.”
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