By Ben Kamisar
Donald TrumpDonald TrumpNeeded: a presidential candidate that can pass the ‘burning house test' Group acusses Trump of using campaign to 'enrich himself' Biden to make first campaign stop for Clinton in Pa. MORE slammed Ted CruzTed CruzFirst trans Senate candidate: My gender won’t be an issue Will Never Trump forces draft Romney to run? Mike Lee: Trump 'accused my best friend’s father of conspiring to kill JFK' MORE as a Canadian “anchor baby” during a Friday rally in New Hampshire as he continues to ratchet up the attacks against his closest polling rival days before the Iowa caucuses.
“Ted Cruz may not be a U.S. citizen,” Trump said at a town hall in New Hampshire.
“Ted Cruz is an anchor baby in Canada, but Canada doesn’t accept anchor babies.”
The term “anchor babies” has been used by Trump and others to describe the children of parents who came to America so that their child could be a U.S. citizen by birth.
Trump faced significant criticism over the summer for using the term in his call to seal the borders but has doubled down and said he’ll continue to use the word.
It’s just the latest chapter in a long list of attacks Trump has levied against Cruz for being born in Canada to an American-citizen mother. He repeatedly questions whether Cruz is eligible to serve as president because he wasn’t born on American soil.
Trump also threw punches on Cruz’s Thursday night debate performance in the event he chose to skip in response to a spat with Fox News.
“I’m glad I wasn’t there, he got pummeled,” Trump said at a town hall in New Hampshire Friday.
Adding that Cruz got “beaten up pretty badly last night,” he predicted that Cruz’s poll numbers would drop ahead of the Iowa caucuses on Monday.
Trump argued that his poll numbers have gone up since he skipped the debate to host an event he says raised $6 million for veterans. No scientific polls could have turned around results that quickly, although Trump did poll best in a handful of non-scientific surveys on news websites.
Trump also bashed Cruz over his admission that he did not disclose loans he took during his 2012 Senate campaign and framed him as being in the pocket of big money while Trump noted that he's turning down contributions from millionaires.
“On his financial disclosure form, he didn't want to put Goldman Sachs down, he didn’t want to put Citibank down, because he wants you to think he's Robin Hood, he will save you from the banks," Trump said.
"But unfortunately the banks have him. Goldman Sachs will call, ‘Ted, this is what we want this week, make sure you get it. Remember the loan you got, Ted.’ "
Trump also confirmed that he asked Fox News to give a $5 million donation to veterans groups before he would consider attending Thursday’s debate. A network representative told The Hill in a statement that it would not accept a “quid-pro-quo.”
He also rehashed his barbs against Jeb Bush, who has repeatedly criticized him on the campaign trail and is in fifth place in New Hampshire polls but only 3 percentage points behind second place Cruz, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls. He warned that Chris Christie, in sixth in the state, has “no chance” at winning.
And Trump also set his eyes on Democratic underdog Martin O’Malley, who also rails on Trump during his campaign appearances.
Trump chided O’Malley for holding an event where only one person showed up, thanks to poor weather, and told the crowd the former Maryland governor has no chance at winning the Democratic nomination.
“Why is O’Malley running. What is that all about? You know what his claim to fame is? The mayor of Baltimore. He left them a great, great blueprint for the future,” Trump said in reference to the protests there surrounding the death of a Baltimore man in police custody.
He also joked to his supporters that turning out to vote is vital, even if the supporters are feeling depressed.
“I kid when I say this, but you may be feeling badly … you may have lost your job, you may be in a major state of depression,” Trump said.
“It doesn’t matter. Go out and vote. I will get rid of your depression, you’ll be happy.”