Cruz questions Trump’s judgment
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Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzProposal to move defense bill running into new GOP objections GOP anger with Fauci rises Senate nearing deal on defense bill after setback MORE (R-Texas) questioned Donald Trump’s judgment at a closed-door fundraiser in Manhattan on Wednesday, breaking a long-held truce with the GOP front-runner and potentially setting the stage for a showdown between the two.



The New York Times reported on Thursday that Cruz told a group of donors that he holds both Trump and Ben Carson in high esteem but that he doesn’t believe that either will be president.



“You look at Paris, you look at San Bernardino, it’s given a seriousness to this race, that people are looking for: Who is prepared to be a commander in chief? Who understands the threats we face?” Cruz said, according to the Times.

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“Who am I comfortable having their finger on the button? Now that’s a question of strength, but it’s also a question of judgment. And I think that is a question that is a challenging question for both of them.”

Cruz declined to comment to the Times on his remarks and again during a question-and-answer session following a speech on national security at The Heritage Foundation on Thursday morning

“I’m not going to comment at what I may or may not have said at a private fundraiser,” Cruz said. 

But in a statement emailed to reporters early Thursday afternoon, Cruz called the story “misleading.” 

However, he did not deny making the comments or explain how they might have been taken out of context.

“In the course of a Presidential election, the voters are going to make a decision about every candidate,” Cruz said. “And ultimately the decision is, who has the right judgment and the right experience to serve as Commander in Chief? Every one of us who is running is being assessed by the voters under that metric, and that is exactly why we have a democratic election to make that determination.”

A phone call to Trump’s campaign has not been returned.


For Cruz, it was a soft jab but a definite break for Cruz, who has repeatedly declined to criticize Trump publicly and has accused the media of trying to set up a “cage match” between the two.



Throughout, he has openly discussed how he is seeking to keep Trump’s supporters close, believing he’s a natural harbor for them if Trump implodes.



Trump, meanwhile, has held up his end of the truce.

At campaign rallies, as he goes down the list of GOP candidates and insults them one-by-one, he has gone out of his way to note that he’s not attacking Cruz because the Texas Republican has been kind to him so far.



But Trump says he doesn’t expect that will last and has vowed to hit back hard if Cruz comes after him.



"Cruz has been great to me, no matter what I say he agrees,” Trump told supporters at a rally in Manassas, Va., earlier this month.
 


“But at some point he’s going to have to say, ‘I have to attack him because otherwise I’m going to come in second place' or something.”