By Jonathan Easley - 02/16/16 04:07 PM EST
Trump: Cruz lies and hides behind Bible
Republican presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHow did Hillary Clinton do? Pundits react to speech Winners and losers of the Democratic National Convention Trump unloads on Clinton moments after speech MORE on Tuesday lashed out at rival Ted CruzTed CruzDem lawmakers rally Muslims against Trump Anti-Clinton super-PAC looks to inflame intraparty tension with Sanders backers The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE, calling the Texas senator a liar and calling into question his Christian values.
Speaking at a rally in North Augusta, S.C., Trump accused Cruz of fabrications over ObamaCare, gun control and abortion.
“I’ve never seen a human being lie so much,” Trump said.
“I think he’s going to go down,” Trump said. “I think a guy can’t be — I’m a Christian — but you know Ted holds up the Bible and then he lies about so many things.”
Trump defended his record, saying as president he would “terminate” ObamaCare and declaring that he’s the “strongest” defender of gun rights in the field.
“This guy is so strident and so nasty, he’s going to lose every single state,” Trump said of Cruz.
Trump also rehashed the Iowa caucuses, accusing Cruz of stealing “thousands and thousands” of votes from fellow GOP candidate Ben Carson.
The Cruz campaign came under fire for spreading a false report that Carson would drop out of the race after the Iowa caucuses. At precincts across the state, Cruz supporters told Carson supporters they should back Cruz instead.
“How dishonest is that?” Trump asked.
Cruz beat Trump by about 6,000 votes in Iowa, out of about 180,000 ballots cast in the Republican caucuses there.
Trump also pointed to a controversial mailer the Cruz campaign sent out before the caucuses, urging people to vote on what looked like an official government document.
“Wow,” Trump said. “I tell you one thing I learned — these politicians are dishonest people.”
Trump’s offensive comes a day after he threatened legal action, saying he’d challenge Cruz’s eligibility for the White House unless he “retracts his lies.”
Cruz says he's merely using Trump's own words against him, pointing to his long history of supporting liberal causes.
Many believe Cruz could challenge Trump in South Carolina, which has a strong contingent of evangelical voters. But a new Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday found Trump taking 35 percent support in the state, with Cruz and Marco RubioMarco RubioOvernight Healthcare: Rubio presses Obama to spend Zika money | FDA moves ahead with trans fat ban The Trail 2016: Her big night Dem lawmakers rally Muslims against Trump MORE tied for second place at 18 percent.
Trump on Tuesday also aimed his fire at trio of conservative pundits, calling Karl Rove a “total Bush-y” and George Will and Charles Krauthammer “a disaster,” claiming that they’ve sought to undercut his presidential bid at every turn.
“Think of those three, they’re really dishonest people,” he said.
Trump also mocked the idea that he is only leading in polls because mainstream conservatives are split between Rubio, Jeb Bush and John Kasich.
“I’m gonna get some of those votes [if one of them drops out],” Trump said. “Some of [their supporters] would vote mostly for me.”
He called Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonHow did Hillary Clinton do? Pundits react to speech Winners and losers of the Democratic National Convention Trump unloads on Clinton moments after speech MORE a “joke,” saying the media was letting her get away with taunting Republicans by barking like a dog during a rally in Nevada on Tuesday.
“I’m watching television and I see her barking like a dog,” Trump said. “No, she’s barking like a dog. And everyone says ‘Oh wasn’t that wonderful, wasn’t that wonderful. Isn’t that cute. Isn’t that great.'
“If I ever did that, I’d be ridiculed all over the place,” he continued. “I won’t do it. I’m not going to imitate her. But she’s barking like a dog and they’re saying wonderful, but if Trump does it, you’d read about it, they’d say ‘What’s wrong with Trump?’ So there will be no barking.”
The rally was interrupted at one point by a protester who was escorted out with both hands in the air and middle fingers extended. Trump, who has vowed to stop using coarse language on the campaign trail, said he was disgusted by the spectacle.
“Oh that’s class,” he said. “Isn’t that terrible? Isn’t that terrible. … If I say, ‘oh hell’, they say, ‘Oh Trump used a horrible word.’ That person does that with the hands and fingers and they won’t report that. It’s disgusting, it’s disgusting, it’s so disgusting. And I tell you what — the press should be ashamed of themselves. It’s disgraceful.”