The only way that I can explain Donald Trump’s decision to turn his guns on Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), a man who has refused to attack Trump personally and has even defended Trump before the media, is that perhaps the billionaire frontrunner in the GOP race for the White House is growing concerned about Cruz’s rise in the polls.
That has to be it, right?
How else could we explain Trump’s decision to first call Cruz a “maniac”, then to infer that Cruz isn’t really an “evangelical Christian,” and then to imply that Cruz has been bought by the oil interests because he’s against government subsidies?
On Monday in Iowa Trump was speaking with a crowd of supporters at the state Fairgrounds in Des Moines when he tried to paint himself as more of a mainstream Christian than Cruz is.
“I do like Ted Cruz, but not a lot of evangelicals come out of Cuba. Not a lot come out.”
Trump is a Presbyterian (though he’s never asked God for forgiveness) and Cruz is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention (America’s largest Christian denomination), so it’s hard to see how Trump believes he could be more of a “mainstream” Christian than Cruz.
Also, connecting Cruz’s evangelicism to his father’s exile from Cuba seems disingenuous.
I happen to also be an evangelical of Cuban descent and so are my siblings, my parents, some of my cousins and other relatives as well… what does being of Cuban descent have to do with being an evangelical?
Nothing. Nothing at all.
In fact, this attack from Trump may be the most underhanded thing he’s said the entire campaign, because it attacks Cruz’s most important, heartfelt beliefs in the hope of scoring a few political points.
Trump then moved on to attack Cruz’s disdain for government subsidies, particularly ethanol subsidies.
This strikes me as a blatant effort to buy votes by Mr. Trump.
He’s telling Iowa’s farmers, ‘vote for me and I will give you government pork’.
Cruz’s position on ethanol subsidies (and other subsidies) is a consistent conservative view of government interaction with the people. We don’t want subsidies for anything. Subsidies are a strain of socialism, so promising subsidies is something that liberals and other big government politicians usually promise.
“With the ethanol, really, he’s got to come a long way, ’cause right now he’s for the oil,” Trump said at the beginning of his remarks, unprompted.
But then he gave him an out:
“But I understand it, oil pays him a lot of money. He’s got to be for oil, right?”
“But I’m with you,” he added. I’m self-funding. I have no oil company. I have no special interest.”
It’s sad to see Trump go after the only other candidate to support and defend him, but I guess it was to be expected.
For his part, when Cruz was asked about Trump’s attacks, he chose to refrain from commenting. Apparently, Cruz doesn’t believe criticizing Trump is the way to go… yet. But sooner or later, the Texas Senator may have to respond.
Or maybe he won’t have to respond?
The Dead Pirate Cates makes a good argument for the idea that if Cruz stays quiet this can’t end anything but well for Senator Cruz…
The more Trump hits Cruz, the more Conservative support will bleed from Trump to him. There's no REASON to hit back.
— Dread Pirate Cates (@drawandstrike) December 15, 2015
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