"How stupid are the people of Iowa?" Trump asked, after wondering how Carson could have narrowly avoided stabbing a friend by hitting his belt buckle. "How stupid are the people of the country to believe this c--p?"
The clip sat in the ever-growing archive of Trump gaffes, ready for redeployment, until Tuesday morning. In "New York Values," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) uses the clip to make a point that Trump's rivals feel should be obvious — this Manhattanite does not understand Iowans. Like "Extreme," an ad that a pro-Cruz super PAC began running Monday, it plays a 1999 clip of Trump admitting he's "very pro-choice" because his values came from New York, not Iowa.
"What does Trump think about Iowa?" asks a concerned narrator.
"How stupid are the people of Iowa?" asks Trump. The context — that they were only truly stupid if they believed Carson — is predictably cut out.
"Donald Trump: New York values, not ours," concludes the narrator.
While the ad complements Keep the Promise's abortion-themed "Extreme" spot, it overlaps jaggedly with the super PAC's other Iowa/South Carolina ad. That one features Trump, at a 2014 Florida GOP fundraiser, shoveling praise on Cruz — the man who is now revealing that Trump has odious New York values.
In his regular early morning TV interviews, Trump dismissed the new spot as a "lie" from Cruz.
"I am pro-life, and everyone understands that," Trump said. "When I said 'How stupid are the people of Iowa,' then I said, 'How stupid are the people of the United States?' And what I was talking about was everybody believing a candidate who's not doing too well. Ted Cruz is a liar. He lies."