Donald Trump’s feud with rival candidate Ted Cruz is taking a nastier turn, according to the Associated Press.
Donald Trump has a reputation for misogyny and sexism, according to Business Insider. As the Inquisitr and other sources have reported, one anti-Trump commercial is nothing but women repeating the former reality TV star’s own words about women. However, when Trump and Cruz went after each other’s wives, voters and political analysts alike agreed that they were hitting below the belt.
First, the anti-Trump super-PAC Make America Awesome ran a provocative ad in Utah, a notoriously conservative state, showing Melania Trump posing nude. Melania Trump was an international fashion model before her marriage. As a result, nude and nearly-nude photos are easily available of her on the internet.
Trump was upset and threatened Cruz on Twitter.
Lyin' Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad. Be careful, Lyin' Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2016
At first, Cruz tried to correct Trump that the offensive ad had not come from his campaign and accused him of being cowardly and without class.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 23, 2016
Trump responded by posting side-by-side pictures of Heidi Cruz and Melania Trump, with an unflattering picture of Mrs. Cruz obviously taken when she wasn’t looking and an attractive, posed shot of his own wife. Quoting the Chinese proverb that a picture is worth a thousand words, Trump said he didn’t need to spill the beans on Mrs. Cruz.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2016
Cruz this time gently scolded Trump, reminding him that “[r]eal men don’t attack women,” and acknowledging both their wives were lovely and loved.
Donald, real men don't attack women. Your wife is lovely, and Heidi is the love of my life. https://t.co/pprXhIMzUT
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 24, 2016
Trump has not yet “spilled the beans” on Heidi Cruz, but Vanity Fair reported political consultant Liz Mair’s suggestion that he might have been referring to Mrs. Cruz’s bout of depression a decade ago.
After Trump’s attack on Mrs. Cruz, Jeb Bush endorsed Ted Cruz.
“For the sake of our party and country, we must move to overcome the divisiveness and vulgarity Donald Trump has brought into the political arena, or we will certainly lose our chance to defeat the Democratic nominee and reverse President Obama’s failed policies.”
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) March 23, 2016
When Trump neither apologized nor retracted his comments, Cruz struck back at Trump in the press, warning him to back off of personal attacks on his wife. He again accused Trump of cowardice.
The Hill reported that MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski called the squabbling over their wives “stupid” and criticized her fellow journalists for giving the candidates’ immature behavior so much media attention.
“She also slammed Cruz for denying links with super-PACs supporting his campaign, arguing that such collaboration is typical on the campaign trail.”
Jason Easley of Politics USA said, “Republicans embarrass themselves and the nation as Ted Cruz blew up on the campaign trail as he reacted to Donald Trump’s attacks on his wife.”
“The Republican primary has become a national disgrace. It is humiliating for the country for this bad soap opera to be unfolding in one of the nation’s two major political parties. The Republican primary is now centered on Donald Trump’s attacks on Ted Cruz’s wife. Republicans have abandoned any illusions of talking about policy, and how they would run the country if elected. Ted Cruz was right to defend his wife, but in no universe should this conversation have any place in a presidential primary. Donald Trump has taken the national discourse to a new low.”
As recently as December, Cruz was being discussed as a possible running mate for Trump. That seems highly unlikely now. Many political analysts are predicting a brokered convention for the Republicans.
This campaign has already been criticized by many for its lack of civility. How much nastier and how much uglier will the rivalry between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz become?
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]