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 TrumpPressure on Trump grows as Kushner is questioned Trump invokes real estate developer William Levitt in speech to Boy Scouts OPINION | With Scaramucci at the mic, Trump has a chance to take on a hostile press MORE and Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzCruz being considered to replace Sessions: report GOP seeks to meet referee’s rule on healthcare repeal Brooks sparks controversy with Scalise shooting ad 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."