Ted Cruz and Donald Trump Are Finally Going at It

Pass the popcorn.

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The bromance is over.

Once Donald Trump and Ted Cruz complimented each other and spoke of mutual respect, an island of civility in the rancorous GOP primary. But that was before Cruz pulled even with Trump in Iowa and the mogul launched a birther attack on the Texas senator, repeatedly questioning whether Cruz—who was born in Canada—is eligible for the presidency.

This isn’t the first time Trump has turned on Cruz, but this time Cruz is fighting back. In interviews on Tuesday, Cruz questioned the businessman’s competence and said he “embodies New York values,” essentially branding the Donald as an out-of-touch Yankee. Princeton- and Harvard-educated Cruz’s retaliation comes just in time for a clash with Trump at tomorrow’s Republican presidential debate in South Carolina.

Cruz has been working hard to woo Trump and his supporters, who are a natural fit for Cruz’s own virulent conservatism. The strategy appears to have worked: In a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, two-thirds of Trump supporters said they would consider voting for Cruz.

But Trump’s attacks on Cruz have risen along with the Texas senator’s polling numbers, and, taking a page out of the unsuccessful attacks on Obama, Trump has started tweeting.

Cruz at first dismissed the claims. But that was before Laurence Tribe, who was once his Harvard law professor, wrote in the Boston Globe that Cruz’s reading of the presidential eligibility clause of the Constitution was at odds with his usual originalism. Cruz’s campaign fired back with a memo Tuesday accusing Tribe of “flip-flopping” on the issue and then started in on Trump.

In an interview on Boston radio station WRKO, Cruz questioned Trump’s ties with Hillary Clinton, saying, “She and Donald know each other well, and I do think it’s interesting that Hillary Clinton’s key supporters are doing everything they can to echo Donald’s attacks on me.”

In a further jibe, Cruz told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that he—unlike Trump—doesn’t get his information on national security from “the Sunday shows.”

Another reason to watch Thursday’s debate.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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