Is the bromance over? (Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP; Heart via Clipart.co; Illustration: Yahoo News)
Donald Trump says Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is “a bit of a maniac” who doesn’t have the “right temperament” to be president.
“The way he’s dealt with the Senate — where he goes in frankly like a bit of a maniac — you never get things done that way,” Trump said on “Fox News Sunday.” “You can’t walk into the Senate and scream and call people liars and not be able to cajole and get along with people. He’ll never get anything done. That’s the problem with Ted.”
Trump, on the other hand, says he has a “much better temperament” than Cruz.
“I actually get along with people much better than he does,” the Republican frontrunner said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “You know people don’t know that about me. I actually have a great relationship with people. In fact, I was criticized in the beginning because I get along with Democrats and liberals and Republicans and conservatives — I get along with everybody.”
The real estate mogul said his judgment is also superior to Cruz’s.
“My judgment is great,” Trump said. “I built a multi-multi-multi-billion-dollar company, some of the greatest assets in the world, tremendously big, No. 1 bestsellers, including ‘The Art of the Deal’ — which may be the biggest and best in terms of the business books — tremendous television show called 'The Apprentice’ that lasted for 14 seasons.”
"I was against going into Iraq,” he continued. “That’s good judgment. I was for bombing the oil long before anybody else thought about it. That’s good judgment. I have good judgment. I have great judgment. I would say I have far better judgment than Ted.”
Trump’s critique of Cruz comes as the Texas senator is suddenly surging. According to the results of a Des Moines Register/Bloomberg News poll released Saturday, Cruz has gained 21 points since October and now leads Trump 31 percent to 21 percent in Iowa.
The survey also found 34 percent of likely GOP caucusgoers believe Cruz “has the best temperament to be president,” compared with just 11 percent who feel the same about Trump.
“We have more work to do,” Bryan English, the director of Cruz’s Iowa campaign, said in a statement. “But we can definitively say the message is working.”
On Twitter, Trump dismissed the latest poll as “biased,” pointing to a CNN/ORC poll that had him ahead of Cruz 33 percent to 20 percent in Iowa. But that poll, released Monday, was conducted before Trump released his controversial proposal to ban all Muslims entering the United States.
At a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday, Trump took a dig at Cruz, a tea party favorite who has been enjoying strong support from Christian conservatives.
“We’re doing really well with the evangelicals,” Trump told the crowd. “And, by the way — and, again, I do like Ted Cruz, but not a lot of evangelicals come out of Cuba, in all fairness. It’s true.”
Cruz, for his part, has been reluctant to criticize the brash billionaire publicly. On Friday, the senator tweeted that he would not be drawn into a “cage match” with his Republican rival.
But Trump’s fresh jabs — combined with a leaked audio recording of Cruz questioning the “seriousness” of Trump’s candidacy — set the stage for a potential showdown onstage at Tuesday’s Republican debate in Las Vegas, the last GOP presidential debate of the year.
Trump says he’s expecting a breakup of the pair’s political bromance.
“I like him,” Trump said on CNN. “He’s been so nice to me. I mean, I can say anything, and [he’ll say] 'I agree, I agree.’ But I think the time will come to an end pretty soon, it sounds like.”
Later Sunday, the pair traded some Twitter-patter, with Trump saying he was "disappointed” in Cruz, and Cruz tweeting a video from the 1983 film “Flashdance” to counter Trump’s “maniac” characterization.
I was disappointed that Ted Cruz would speak behind my back, get caught, and then deny it. Well, welcome to the wonderful world of politics!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)