Super-PACs supporting Republican presidential candidate Ted CruzTed CruzThe Trail 2016: On the fringe FULL SPEECH: Hillary Clinton links Trump to 'alt-right' in Reno Presidential hopefuls still bank on retail politics MORE say they will donate $1.5 million to charities committed to helping veterans if rival Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump shares tweet claiming Clinton's 'mentor' was 'KKK member' Pence: Trump’s changing immigration stance is ‘classic CEO process’ Trump spokeswoman: Position on immigration “not really complicated” MORE agrees to a one-on-one debate with him.
“Not only would this be a heck of a debate, but it would also be a terrific opportunity to generate millions of dollars for the veterans,” Keep the Promise I and II PACs said in a joint statement Wednesday night.
“He and I are the leading candidates in this state right now, so how about the two of us, in a one-on-one debate, mano a mano?” the Texas senator said Wednesday at a rally in West Des Moines.
“And I’m going to propose a venue, Western Iowa Tech in Sioux City,” he added. “We already have it reserved — 8:00 Saturday night, a two-hour, one-on-one debate.”
The challenge comes in response to Trump’s plan to skip Thursday's GOP presidential debate because of his feud with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, who is co-moderating the debate.
Cruz maintained that Trump is skipping the debate because is “very, very scared” of Kelly, referring to the real estate mogul several times as “gentle Donald.”
“And, you know, Donald is a fragile soul,” he said. “She might ask a mean question, and who knows what could happen — his hair could stand on end.”
As for the moderator of the one-on-one debate, Cruz suggested a number of prominent conservative radio hosts, including Mark Levin, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.
He also threw out the possibility of a town hall in which Iowans ask questions of the candidates.
“And if gentle Donald is frightened by Mark and Sean and Rush, then we’ll have no moderator whatsoever. A town hall of Iowans,” he said.
“And I’ll tell you what, Donald, you can invite half the people and control half the tickets, we’ll invite half the people and half the tickets, and each of us will alternate, asking questions from the men and women of Iowa who are going to vote in the caucus on Monday night,” he added.
“So we have a venue, we have a time. All we’re missing is a candidate.”
Instead of attending Thursday night’s debate, Trump said he is holding an event at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, to benefit veterans.