Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump escalated his weekend attacks on Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in an interview with ABC on Sunday.
Trump took another swing at Cruz over the senator’s comments that Trump shares “New York values” with Democratic leaders from New York.
“The truth is he’s a nasty guy,” Trump said of Cruz on Sunday.
“Nobody likes him, no one in Congress likes him, nobody anywhere likes him once they get to know him. He’s got an edge that’s not good. You can’t make deals with people like that, and it’s not a good thing, it’s not a good thing for the country.”
He added: “Very nasty guy.”
Trump’s rhetoric represents a shift in strategy as Cruz has risen in national polls and overtaken Trump in Iowa, the key first-nominating state.
Both Cruz and Trump notably avoided opportunities to attack each other throughout much of the campaign. The Texas senator has attempted to draft off of the anger that Trump has stoked among Republican primary voters, repeatedly saying that Trump’s bid was beneficial for Cruz’s own candidacy as an insurgent outsider. Last year, the two presidential rivals appeared together at a campaign rally on Capitol Hill, sharing an embrace and heaping praise on each other.
But the lengthy détente between the two fully broke this week. The two sparred during Thursday night’s Republican debate over “New York values” and over Cruz’s birth in Canada, an issue on which Trump has harped over the past two weeks. After Cruz refused to apologise for the “New York values” attack, Trump on Saturday launched into a raging, eight-hour tweetstorm blasting Cruz on several issues.
For his part, Cruz argued Saturday that Trump’s assault wasn’t commander-in-chief material.
“I think in terms of a commander in chief, we ought to have someone who isn’t springing out of bed to tweet in a frantic response to the latest polls,” he said. “I think the American people is looking for a commander in chief who is stable and steady and a calm hand to keep this country safe,” Cruz added.
Watch the interview below, via ABC:
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