Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump tore into GOP rivalTed Cruz in extremely personal terms on Sunday as their feud continued to escalate.
He is “a nasty guy. Nobody likes him. Nobody in Congress likes him. Nobody likes him anywhere once they get to know him,” Trump said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” that aired Sunday. “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.”
“Very nasty guy,” Trump said.
The two have been locked in an increasingly personal feud ahead of the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses, where they are running neck-and-neck. Trump has shown flashes of anger against Cruz on the campaign trail in recent days, casting aspersions on the senator's character during events and publicly questioning whether Cruz's Canadian birth constitutionally disqualifies him from running for president.
The billionaire has frequently said that Cruz's critics will file lawsuits to keep the senator off the ballot, which he says could compromise the Republican Party's chances during the general election.
"This Week" host George Stephanopoulos suggested to Trump that he file a suit against Cruz himself.
"That's an interesting case. That sounds like a very good case. I'd do the public a favor," Trump said, smiling. He ignored a question from Stephanopoulos about whether he would really consider it. When the talk show host brought the issue up again later, Trump said, "When I file suits, I file real suits."
Cruz has responded by going after Trump’s conservative credentials, pointing out his previous support on social issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion rights. Trump dismissed those criticisms, insisting that he’s a conservative but noting that his supporters are behind him because of his business acumen.
“I’m conservative, but … I'm going to solve our trade problem. I'm going to solve our military problem. I'm going to get rid of ISIS [the Islamic State militant group]. I'm going to create borders,” he said. “This is what they want."
Trump added during the interview — which was recorded Saturday and aired in full on Sunday — that Cruz is “a total hypocrite,” pointing to the senator’s failure to properly disclose two million-dollar loans from Citibank and Goldman Sachs, which he used to fund his 2012 U.S. Senate run. Trump also said that Cruz has accepted money from gay-marriage supporters.
During a campaign event Saturday in Portsmouth, N.H., the billionaire said that he originally believed Cruz was a “nice guy” but that, “as it turned out, he finally went off the wagon a little bit and went a little bit crazy.”