Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said of the rivalry between himself and GOP front-runner Donald Trump, “I don’t intend to insult Donald Trump. I’m not going to engage in personal attacks.”
Partial transcript as follows:
TAPPER: It’s gotten heated between you and the front-runner, Donald Trump, in recent weeks. And you have expressed your concerns about him. I know that you — he attacked you first, for the record. But you have since counter punched and talked about your concerns. In retrospect, should you have made your concerns about his, in your view, New York values, his support for partial-birth abortion and more, earlier, do you think?
CRUZ: Yes, well, listen, there’s a phase to any campaign. You know, a month ago, Donald was telling everyone how much he liked me and how much I was his friend. And then his poll numbers started falling, and ours started rising. And now I wake up every day and look at my phone and discover what new insult he has launched out.
TAPPER: There have been a lot.
CRUZ: And they’re always interesting. I will give him credit that, when he insults someone, it’s always memorable and colorful. But, you know, my approach has been, I’m not going to respond in kind. So, I don’t intend to insult Donald Trump. I’m not going to engage in personal attacks. No matter what he says, I like Donald. I will continue to praise him as bold and brash. Now, I do think policy differences are fair game. I do think pointing out that he and I have very, very different views on questions like life and marriage and religious liberty, he and I have very, very different views and records on questions like health care and Obamacare and amnesty, and so all of that is fair game. But I think the people of Iowa deserve more. I think the American people deserve more than just a battle of petty insults. And so I don’t intend to play that game.
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