2016 Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz is marching on with a challenge to frontrunner Donald Trump, suggesting that Tuesday’s scheduled CNN town hall could become a debate between the two.
Monday night Cruz told host Sean Hannity on Fox News, “Donald Trump and I should be debating one on one.”
Cruz was in the midst of rebuking Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama over plans to send “tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees to America,” calling the plans “lunacy.” He stated, “ISIS has told us they intend to infiltrate those refugees, to send Jihadists here to murder us. They did that in Paris and they participated in the Paris terror attacks. The head of the FBI has told Congress that they cannot vet these refugees to make sure they’re not ISIS terrorists.” Cruz went on to point to Obama and Clinton as willing to knowingly bring in ISIS jihadists before moving on to challenge Trump to debate such issues.
“From the beginning our focus has been on issues and substance. When others go to the gutter I have not responded in kind,” Cruz said in a CNN interview on Monday.
“Tomorrow night we’ve got two town halls on CNN back to back. We’re in the same place, and yet Donald refuses to show up on stage with me because he cannot defend his policies,” Cruz continued. “I think the people of Wisconsin deserve to know what solutions each of us have for bringing jobs back to America, for raising wages. What solutions each of us have for defeating radical Islamic terrorism and keeping this country safe.”
Cruz steered the conversation early in the Hannity interview to discuss the terror attack in Brussels, Belgium that occurred the day of the Utah and Arizona Republican presidential primary contests.
Early on Tuesday morning Trump appeared to threaten a no-show at the Tuesday night CNN town hall, but he is still scheduled to participate as of the last notification. Anderson Cooper will moderate the town hall special in Milwaukee ahead of next Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary contest.
Wow, @CNN has nothing but my opponents on their shows. Really one-sided and unfair reporting. Maybe I shouldn't do their town-hall tonight!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2016
Trump currently holds a delegate count of 739, with Cruz, at 465, the only other candidate left with the possibility of securing the 1,237 delegates before the GOP convention. It remains unclear whether either candidate will be able to reach that threshold or be faced with duking it out over delegates in Cleveland.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich currently has a mere 143 delegates and could not reach the 1,237 needed to secure the GOP nomination before the July GOP convention. Yet Kasich is refusing to leave the race and will be participating in CNN’s Tuesday night town hall event.
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