After Donald Trump described presidential rival Ted Cruz, the first-term U.S. Senator from Texas, as a little bit of a maniac, Cruz has fired back on Twitter, but in a way that preserves the bromance between the two, at least for now.
Cruz, who has surged into first place in Iowa among Republican voters, according to one poll, and has maintained a cordial relationship with the GOP front-runner during the campaign season, offered an unconventional yet non-confrontational response. It’s getting close to crunch time as the Iowa Caucus is February 1, followed by the New Hampshire Primary on February 9.
Trump still maintains a big lead on a national basis and in other states with the GOP and GOP-leaning electorate, assuming the polling data is accurate.
On Fox News Sunday today, one of several media interviews, Trump questioned Cruz’s qualifications to be president.
“I don’t think he has the right temperament. I don’t think he’s got the right judgment. When you look at the way he has dealt with the Senate, where he goes in there like a, you know, frankly, like a little bit of a maniac — you are never going to get things done that way.”
The sometimes thick-skinned GOP front-runner apparently bristled after a reported surfaced that Cruz allegedly criticized Trump at a private fundraiser.
“He’s been so nice to me. I mean I could be saying anything and he’d say, I agree I agree,” Trump added on CNN, where he also touted his track record as a businessman in getting along with Democrats and Republicans.
Stepping back, many might find The Donald’s criticism of Cruz odd in that Trump has disrupted the presidential race in a manner similar to the way that Cruz has disrupted the stodgy U.S. Senate.
The Cruz campaign likely picked up steam in the infamous GOP debate in October on CNBC when the champion Harvard debater blasted the moderators for the disputatious tone of their questioning.
“Cruz did his best in the debates when he turned absurd questions back on the reporters who seemed more interested in debating the candidates themselves. Cruz’s attack on the media during the CNBC debate, in fact, generated the most positive response ever measured in a focus group convened by pollster Frank Luntz,” Breitbart News explained. See clip below.
Trump and Cruz, along with several other top-tier candidates, face off in a debate on CNN Tuesday night in Las Vegas, and it remains to be seen if there will be any actual fireworks between the two, who have played nice at least up to this point. Cruz was perhaps the only candidate who was unwilling to publicly bash Trump about his plan to temporarily block Muslim immigration into the U.S., a proposal that received condemnation across the ideological spectrum.
That being said, Cruz’s response to the “maniac” comment by his friend Donald Trump on social media is a callback to the Jennifer Beals dance sequence in the hit 1983 film Flashdance, complete with the video clip itself.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) December 13, 2015
In the same appearance on Fox, Trump leveled strong criticism in the direction of Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton for turning the Middle East into what he described as “a total disaster.”
“She is the one that caused all this problem with her stupid policies. You look at what she did with Libya, what she did with Syria. Look at Egypt, what happened with Egypt, a total mess. She was truly — if not the — one of the worst secretaries of state in the history of the country. She talks about me being dangerous. She’s killed hundreds of thousands of people with her stupidity.”
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Image]