Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz claims he does not have to go after frontrunner Donald Trump because Trump will not win the party's presidential nomination. Speaking at a town hall event in Iowa, Cruz was reportedly asked why he has not attacked the bombastic real estate mogul.
"I don't think it's good advice for us to get in the business of blasting each other," Cruz told around 110 people at a community college in Coralville, Iowa. "Let me be very clear: I don't believe Donald Trump is gonna be the nominee, I don't believe he'll be our president. And I actually think the men and women in this room have something powerful to say about it. One of the reasons I love the state of Iowa, because in Iowa, y'all take politics seriously."
According to CBS News, Cruz reportedly made a similar comment during a radio interview in early October, saying: "I don't believe Donald is going to be the nominee and I think in time the lion's share of his supporters end up with us." CNN noted that Cruz has been the only opponent Trump has not attacked during his campaign, even joining forces with the Texas senator in September at a rally against the Iran nuclear deal.
CNN reported that Cruz said Trump has capitalised on voter's frustrations with Washington. "When others attack me I don't respond in kind," Cruz said. "My response is typically not only not to respond but a lot of time to heap praises on the other folks. Now scripture gives us some guidance to that and they say when you pay unkindness with kindness that it's like heaping coals on their heads."
While Trump has maintained his frontrunner lead among Republican candidates, it appears that his recent comments regarding Muslims and those mocking a disabled New York Times reporter are causing his numbers to slide. A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll released on 27 November revealed that Trump maintains first place with 31%, but that is a 12 percentage point decline from a week earlier. In Iowa, Trump also maintains the lead with 25%, but Cruz has managed to nab second place from retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 23%, a Quinnipiac University poll revealed.
"I'm immensely grateful to Donald Trump, because he's helped frame the central issue of this primary as, 'Who will stand up to Washington?'" Cruz said on 30 November. "Well, if that's the central issue, the natural follow-up question is, OK, 'Who has stood up to Washington?' And who's stood up, not just to Democrats, but to leaders in their own party, and that there is an enormous difference." He added: "If the central question of this primary is who will stand up to Washington and who has stood up to Washington, we win."