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Ted Cruz to Megyn Kelly: Donald Trump has a ‘problem with strong women’

Michael Walsh
·Reporter
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Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz continued to court female voters ahead of the Tuesday Wisconsin primary by contrasting his relationship with women against his rival’s.

On Monday morning, Fox News commentator Megyn Kelly joined the Texas senator for a town hall at the Madison Masonic Center in the state’s capital, where he praised his wife’s beauty, brilliance and resilience while accusing GOP frontrunner Donald Trump of having a “problem with strong women.”

According to recent polls, the majority of registered female voters have an unfavorable view of Trump. This would likely be a problem in the general election should he go up against Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

Kelly, who has had a highly publicized feud with Trump, asked Cruz to address several news stories that have been circulating the past few weeks — namely his spats with Trump involving their wives and the National Enquirer article that accused Cruz of having five affairs over the course of his marriage.

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Ted Cruz talks with Fox News host Megyn Kelly at a campaign stop in Madison, Wis., on Monday. (Photo: Andy Manis/AP)

“I have not [committed adultery]. That attack was complete and utter garbage. It was complete lies and it came from Donald Trump and his henchmen,” Cruz told Kelly.

Cruz said that the only person quoted in the article was Trump’s former political adviser Roger Stone. Kelly was quick to point out that Stone and Trump officially split ways in August, but Cruz countered that he’s now the campaign’s attack dog, spreading lies and personal smears.

“I have always been faithful to my wife. I love my wife. She is my best friend in the whole world. And this is the kind of garbage that the Trump campaign engages in. And you know why? They can’t debate substance.”

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Cruz speaks at a town hall campaign event in Madison on Monday. (Photo: Jim Young/Reuters)

Earlier in the conversation, Kelly brought up the time Trump retweeted an unflattering picture of Cruz’s wife, Heidi, beside a nicer picture of his wife, former model Melania. At the time, this tweet prompted Cruz to call Trump a “sniveling coward.” Kelly asked Cruz if Trump’s later admission that the tweet was a mistake had changed his feelings.

“Donald saying he made a mistake — I suppose miracles can happen,” he said to laughter. “But, to be honest, it’s gotten to the point, as this campaign’s gone on, the silliness, the personal attacks, the nastiness, the cursing from Donald. My reaction is, ‘Who cares?’”

Cruz said Trump lashes out because he does not have answers for the real issues facing Americans: lifting the “boot of the federal government” from the backs of small businesses, returning jobs to the U.S., defending the Constitution and Bill of Rights and protecting the nation from terrorism.

“His response whenever he gets upset is he yells and screams and curses and he insults people. That’s his natural safe zone. You know something about that personally, Megyn, but that’s how he treats everybody. When he’s nervous, when he’s scared, his security blanket is to insult people.”

Kelly insisted that Trump’s tweet had to have affected Cruz because he’s not just a politician — he’s also a human being who loves his wife. Then she pivoted to Trump’s other threat to “spill the beans” on Heidi.

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Donald Trump signs autographs after speaking during a town hall event at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, Wis., on Monday. (Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Reuters)

“I know that Donald, it makes him feel really tough, it makes him feel like a very, very big man to threaten people. And, in particular, he seems to have a problem with strong women. I don’t why that is. But it seems to really bother him.”

Cruz said there are no “beans to spill” and that his wife was in the “rough-and-tumble” business world for 20 years — where she had to deal with bullies like Trump — so she just laughs off his comments.

“She’s dealt with people who think that they can just yell and scream at a strong woman and make her cower. Let me tell you, Heidi Cruz is not remotely scared of Donald Trump,” Cruz said.

Cruz said he is proud that his daughters, Carolina and Catherine, are seeing their mother as a strong woman who stands up to bullies who attack her.

“That’s a message I really hope little girls and little boys all across the country see,” he said.

Meanwhile, during a rally at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, Wis., Trump accused Cruz of being dishonest and in the pocket of special interests.

“Look at the people supporting Ted Cruz,” Trump told the crowd. “These people … have total control over him. They will say, ‘Jump, Ted.’ In some cases, they will say, ‘Jump, Lying Ted’ because nobody lies like this guy. This guy’s a liar. We call him Lying Ted.”

Last Wednesday, Cruz’s mother, Eleanor Darragh, made a rare public appearance for her son during a celebration of “strong women” in Madison. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO and GOP candidate Carly Fiorina also participated.