Bush-backer Bob Dole hits Trump, Cruz
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Former Republican presidential nominee Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) goes after GOP presidential candidates Donald TrumpDonald TrumpIntel Dem: Nunes 'sacrificed the good name' of committee with Trump briefing Report: Trump regrets backing health plan before pushing for tax reform Dem rep: 'We must pause the entire Trump agenda' until Russia investigation complete MORE and Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzPaul: Pence should oversee Senate ObamaCare repeal votes Senators introduce new Iran sanctions With no emerging leaders, no clear message, Democrats flounder MORE (R-Texas) in a new interview.  

Dole told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell that Trump "says things over the top and people applaud. And he's insulted about everybody, every other candidate."
 
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"And Cruz is so extreme," Dole, a backer of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's White House bid, continued in the interview, airing Tuesday afternoon on "Andrea Mitchell Reports."
 
"He's not a ... traditional Republican conservative," he added of Cruz. "Achievements are shutting down the government twice and calling the Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, a liar on the Senate floor."
 
Cruz has recently rocketed toward the top of the GOP pack in the early-voting state of Iowa, taking first place in a Monmouth poll and second in a CNN poll released this week. Trump has remained at or near the top of polls in the Hawkeye State for months. 
 
Asked if he could support Cruz, should the Texas senator become the GOP nominee, Dole responded, "I might oversleep that day."
 
"He uses the word 'conservative' more than he ever uses the word 'Republican.' So, it would be difficult [to support him]," added Dole, who served in the House in the 1960s before moving to the Senate, where he served as majority leader. He was the 1996 GOP presidential nominee.
 
Dole told MSNBC that he remains hopeful Bush can eventually navigate his way to the top of the field despite lagging badly in polls. 
 
"He is the tortoise in the race," Dole said. "[I] still think he'll make it."