Sen. Ted Cruz accused GOP frontrunner Donald Trump of “telling us he’s lying to us” after Trump aides told RNC leaders that their candidate will moderate his message.
“Donald is a New York liberal who is pretending to be a conservative to try to fool Republican primary voters,” Cruz told radio host Mark Levin and his listeners on Thursday. Levin prompted the statement when he referred to senior Trump aide Paul Manafort’s comments in a private meeting and asking Cruz, “Who the hell is Donald Trump?”
Trump’s senior aide, Paul Manafort, gave Republican National Committee members a new vision of a more moderate Trump to come: “The part that he’s been playing is evolving into the part that now you’ve been expecting, but he wasn’t ready for, because he had first to complete the first phase. The negatives will come down. The image is going to change.” The Associated Press reported on the meeting after obtaining a recording of the closed-door exchange.
On Levin’s show, Cruz gave Trump “a little bit of credit” for being candid: “He’s telling us he’s lying to us.” Trump has repeatedly branded Cruz as “lyin’ Ted.” Cruz’s campaign slogan is “TrusTed.”
Cruz hit on the “lyin’ Trump” theme again on Friday, telling rally-goers in Williamsport, Pennsylvania that Trump is “trying to fool gullible voters,” according to reporter Betsy Klein. He repeated the statement that Trump is “telling us he’s lying to us.”
During the Levin interview, Cruz brought up words from Trump supporter Ben Carson and reports of Trump’s off the record meeting with the New York Times, calling it all “an act, a show.” Cruz accused Trump of telling the NYT that “he’s not going to build a wall, he’s not going to deport the people here illegally.”
Trump supporter and former presidential candidate himself, Ben Carson, told the RNC members in Florida that Trump is “trying to moderate. He’s getting better,” reported the AP.
Cruz told Levin and his listeners, “If you’re tired of being lied to you oughta at least listen to it when Donald Trump tells us he’s lying to us and that’s why I think the right thing for a voter to do is not listen to campaign rhetoric, but instead look for a record. You want someone who’ll stand up to immigration? Ask who led the fight against the Gang of 8 amnesty plan and led the effort to defeat it in congress. I was leading that effort against amnesty when Donald Trump was funding the Gang of 8 amnesty plan.”
Cruz commented, “Donald Trump is explicitly agreeing with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. They have the same views on religious liberty.”
He said that as a father it’s just “common sense” that he doesn’t want grown men in the bathroom with his little girls. Cruz called it the “political correctness that we have seen the last seven years.”
He made similar comments during an interview on the Glenn Beck radio program, “It is only the lunacy of political correctness –if he had fired Curt Schilling—for making the rather obvious point, that we shouldn’t allow grown adult men strangers alone in a bathroom with little girls.”
Levin then pointed to a clip in the Today Show interview in which Trump said he agreed when asked if he believes in raising taxes on the wealthy. Levin commented that talk of taxing the wealthy usually means the middle class. He then asked Cruz, “Raising taxes on the ‘wealthy,’ doesn’t that go against his own proposed tax plan?”
Cruz accused Trump of not knowing what’s in his own tax plan: “He hired some staffer to write a tax plan to pretend to be conservative. It’s not a very well thought out tax plan, he doesn’t know the details.” He went on to say Trump supported President Obama’s Wall Street bailout and accused Trump of being in favor of socialized healthcare.
In February, Trump posted a lengthy message to Facebook refuting accusations that he holds positions that are not conservative. In it he called Cruz “a totally unstable individual” and “the single biggest liar I’ve ever come across.”
Cruz brought up Trump’s stated intention to amend the pro-life plank of the Republican platform and “even today supports taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood.”
“These are the views of a big government, New York liberal,” Cruz asserted. He also claimed “Donald Trump wrote the checks to fund” Obamacare.
“If you’re tired of being lied to, it doesn’t make any sense to support the guy who is blatantly lying to you and laughing about it,” Cruz claimed. “He is making fun of us right now, the American people. He thinks we’re gullible and he thinks if he yells and screams and curses and uses language that insults everybody that somehow people will think he’s really a conservative…”
Earlier in the show Levin asked Cruz to tell Trump to come on the radio show after two to three months of absence if the candidates cross paths on the campaign trail. “It’s now been 43 days since the last debate,” said Cruz. The Texas senator accused Trump of avoiding Levin’s show because Levin “won’t kiss his behind,” but will “ask difficult questions.”
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