Cruz Mocks Trump's "Battles with Venereal Disease" As Trump Links Cruz's Dad to JFK Death
Bracing for a devastating loss in the Indiana primary, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is throwing everything but the kitchen sink at frontrunner Donald Trump.
Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.
INDIANAPOLIS — Bracing for a devastating loss in Indiana's primary, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is throwing everything but the kitchen sink at frontrunner Donald Trump.
Hours before the polls close Tuesday in the Hoosier State, Cruz promised to tell reporters at a stop in Evansville "what I really think of Donald Trump" — before unloading on the billionaire as a "pathological liar," "utterly amoral" and a "serial philanderer."
"He doesn't know the difference between truth and lies," Cruz said in remarks that were broadcast live on national TV. "He lies — practically every word that comes out of his mouth. And in a pattern that I think is straight out of a psychology textbook, his response is to accuse everybody else of lying."
Cruz continued: "The man cannot tell the truth, but he combines with it being a narcissist, a narcissist at a level I don't think this country has ever seen. Donald Trump is such a narcissist that Barack Obama looks at him and goes, 'Dude, what's your problem?'"
Cruz did not let up, going on to call Trump "utterly amoral" while making reference to the billionaire's attacks on Cruz's wife. "Morality does not exist for him," Cruz said of Trump.
"Donald Trump is a serial philanderer, and he boasts about it," Cruz told reporters, referring to remarks Trump made to radio personality Howard Stern in 1997. "This is not a secret. He's proud of being a serial philanderer. I want everyone to think about your teenage kids. The president of the United States talks about how great it is to commit adultery, how proud he is, describes his battles with venereal disease as his own personal Vietnam."
Cruz's remarks came the same morning that Trump, in a TV interview, invoked a tabloid report that tied Cruz's dad Rafael to the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy. Cruz has previously denied the story.
On Tuesday, he mocked Trump's allegation.
"Let's be clear: This is nuts. This is not a reasonable position. This is kooky," Cruz said in Evansville. "While I'm at it, I should go ahead and admit yes, my dad killed JFK, he is secretly Elvis and Jimmy Hoffa is buried in his backyard."
Earlier Tuesday morning, Cruz similarly unleashed on Trump in an interview with radio host Glenn Beck, a supporter. Asked about a confrontation with a stubborn Trump supporter Monday in Indiana, Cruz accused Trump of "perpetuating the greatest fraud in the modern history of politics."
Cruz's campaign is working to stave off questions about its viability with Trump closing in on a victory in Indiana that could set him on a glide path to the nomination. Cruz's top aides rushed Tuesday morning to knock down a report from the Associated Press that the campaign was preparing to downsize its staff.
Cruz was scheduled to attend an event Tuesday morning in Indianapolis, but about a half hour before it began, his campaign said he would not be there. Aides said they had mistakenly advertised his appearance in the first place.
After his stop in Evansville, Cruz was expected to return to Indianapolis, where he is holding an election night party.
Trump responded to the fresh slew of attacks with a statement Tuesday afternoon that called Cruz a "desperate candidate trying to save his failing campaign."
"It is no surprise he has resorted to his usual tactics of over-the-top rhetoric that nobody believes," Trump said, invoking Cruz's recent string of losses in the Northeast. "Today's ridiculous outburst only proves what I have been saying for a long time, that Ted Cruz does not have the temperament to be President of the United States."
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