Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) touted a more than two-year-old Donald Trump tweet on Thursday that Cruz said proves his primary rival supports “amnesty.”
“Just a minute ago, I tweeted on Twitter a tweet that Donald sent in 2013,” Cruz noted during a Boston Herald Radio interview.
He was referring to an August 2013 tweet in which the Republican presidential front-runner wrote: “Congress must protect our borders first. Amnesty should be done only if the border is secure and illegal immigration has stopped.”
Cruz claimed on the radio Thursday that Trump was backing the legislative effort partially led by another presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida.)
“Now in 2013, I was leading the fight against Marco Rubio’s ‘Gang of Eight’ amnesty plan,” Cruz said, referring to an immigration-reform bill that Rubio co-authored. “In the middle of that fight, Donald Trump sent out a tweet supporting amnesty, saying we should adopt amnesty. Now, that’s a sharp difference,” he added.
Cruz also hit Trump for criticising former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R) tone on the illegal-immigration issue during the 2012 race against President Barack Obama.
“I get that on the presidential campaign he suddenly discovered illegal immigration as a problem,” Cruz said of Trump. “But you know back then, when we were actually fighting to stop amnesty, Donald Trump was criticising Mitt Romney for being too tough on illegal immigration. He thought Mitt Romney needed to be softer on illegal immigration.”
This might be a reference to a Newsmax interview in which Trump was quoted panning Romney’s “mean-spirited” approach to immigration and criticising the Republican nominee’s “crazy” advocacy of “self-deportation.”
On Twitter, Cruz further wrote that Trump’s 2013 tweet shows that “Trump SUPPORTS amnesty”:
However, Trump also criticised the concept of “amnesty” both before and after that tweet.
In a series of July 2013 tweets, Trump also wrote: “We should be concerned about the American worker & invest here. Not grant amnesty to illegals or waste $7B in Africa. …. It’s Tuesday. How much money will Karl Rove waste today trying to push amnesty through the House? … Why is the @GOP congress focusing on amnesty when so many Americans are unemployed?”
Cruz’s jab on Thursday was only the latest in the increasingly hostile back-and-forth attacks between the two candidates. After spending most of last year declining to go after one another, Cruz and Trump have been ripping each other to shreds on the campaign trail as the February 1 Iowa caucus approaches.
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