INDEPENDENCE, Iowa — As the Iowa caucuses near, the two GO front runners are battling each other on the airwaves.
Donald Trump called Ted Cruz a liar on Tuesday, charging that the Texas senator repeatedly misrepresents the Republican front-runner’s views.
“He’s just saying lie after lie. It’s not becoming,” Trump told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“He really does lie. He’s so nervous,” Trump added. “I saw him the other day. He is so nervous. He is such a mess. His polls have gone down. People realize that he probably can’t even run for president. He was born in Canada.”
Trump’s searing attack on Cruz was a continuation of a narrative he began Monday afternoon with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
Trump and Cruz are locked in a tight battle for Iowa, which holds its first-in-the-nation caucuses on Monday. Trump has recently edged ahead of the Texas senator after days of relentless, multi-pronged attacks on Cruz.
On Tuesday, Trump took aim at a new Cruz ad that features old video footage of Trump saying he supports abortion rights.
Trump cited the ad as the latest example of Cruz misrepresenting his positions.
“I’m pro-life — 100%. He knows it. Everybody knows it,” Trump said.
The ad also shows Trump at a rally appearing to call Iowans “stupid.” Trump responded on “Good Morning America” that he was simply referring to Iowans — and Americans as a whole – who were supporting candidates other than himself.
Cruz, super PACs launch ads attacking Trump
Ted Cruz and two allied super PACs launched a television broadside against Donald Trump on Monday, dedicating big money behind ads attacking the billionaire for “New York values,” particularly past support for partial-birth abortion.
The ads use identical quotes from Trump’s 1999 interview on “Meet the Press” in which he declares “I am pro-choice in every respect.”
Campaigns and super PACs are not allowed to coordinate on advertising, but the unified front against Trump comes just one week before the Iowa caucuses and continue Cruz’s theme of painting the New York billionaire as out-of-touch with Iowa values.
“Hey I lived in New York City and Manhattan all my life, so my views are a little bit different than if I lived in Iowa,” Trump said on the “Meet the Press” interview, a quote spliced into the Cruz campaign ad.
The super PAC ads come from rival pro-Cruz groups Keep the Promise I and Stand for Truth.
The Cruz-endorsed Keep the Promise I group, moved Monday in two 30-second advertisements to paint Trump as politically opportunistic. The new spot, “Extreme,” uses the Trump interview with “Meet the Press” host Tim Russert. A second Keep the Promise spot, which was already being shown to voters on digital platforms, uses Trump praising Cruz as a conservative fighter.
They are part of a $2.5 million television campaign in Iowa and South Carolina by Keep the Promise I, the first negative spots from the super PAC.
Stand for Truth, a relatively new super PAC with as of yet unknown backers and advisers, latched on to the interview as well and shows Trump on Times Square billboards speaking about “New York values” — the term used by Cruz himself to attack Trump in Iowa.
A Stand for Truth spokesman, Eric Lycan, did not respond to a request for comment Monday about when the ad would air or how much money was behind it. The group has pledged to spend $4 million on his behalf.
And the torrent of new ads continued all day, with a new Keep the Promise spot Monday evening that targeted Trump on a different vulnerability: his support for Obamacare, or as the ad christened it, “Trumpcare.”
“First there was Hillarycare.” the ad begins. “Then there was Obamacare,” it continues, drawing on Trump quotes in support of a coverage mandate. “We can’t afford Trumpcare.”