Cruz honors ‘maniacs’ with 'Flashdance' tweet
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP, Democrats battle over masks in House, Senate Human rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action Only two people cited by TSA for mask violations have agreed to pay fine MORE (R-Texas) late Sunday responded with humor after real estate mogul Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York state Senate candidate charged in riot Trump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report GOP senator clashes with radio caller who wants identity of cop who shot Babbitt MORE called him a “maniac” amid heightened tensions between the two GOP presidential rivals.

“In honor of my friend @RealDonaldTrump and good-hearted maniacs everywhere,” Cruz tweeted with a clip of the song “Maniac” from the 1983 movie "Flashdance."  

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Trump escalated his newfound rivalry with Cruz by criticizing the lawmaker earlier Sunday.

“I don’t think he’s got the right temperament,” Trump said on “Fox News Sunday." "I don’t think he’s got the right judgment. You look at the way he’s dealt with the Senate, where he goes in there, frankly like a little bit of a maniac,” Trump added. "You’re never going to get things done that way.”

Cruz and Trump had enjoyed a cordial relationship on the 2016 campaign trail.

Cracks are appearing in the pair’s bond, however, as Cruz closes the gap with Trump across multiple national polls.

Reports emerged last week, for example, that Cruz questioned Trump and fellow GOP White House hopeful Ben Carson's presidential “judgment.”

Trump leads the Texas senator by about 13 points, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls.

Cruz has surged past Trump in Iowa, however, ending the real estate tycoon’s lead in the early-voting state. He currently edges out the billionaire by 1 point there.