NH Union Leader blasts Cruz for being 'Teddy Trump'
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An influential New Hampshire newspaper wrote a scathing editorial of Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzNoisy democracy, or rude people behaving like children? Democrats hold fading odds of winning Senate this November Donald Trump Jr. emerges as GOP fundraising force MORE (R-Texas), likening the Republican presidential candidate to Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I don't trust everybody in the White House' JPMorgan CEO withdraws from Saudi conference Trump defends family separations at border MORE and dubbing him “Teddy Trump.” 

The New Hampshire Union Leader, which threw its support behind rival Chris Christie last month, penned an editorial criticizing Cruz’s refusal to go negative on the Republican presidential front-runner and accusing him of trying to appeal to Trump supporters in the event the real estate mogul plunges in the race. 

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“There’s something creepy about the way Ted Cruz is pandering to Donald Trump,” the paper wrote. “The Texas Senator has based his career on bashing fellow Republicans, but refuses to stand up to a liberal blowhard who threatens to set back the conservative movement for decades.

“Trump’s candidacy is a threat to the Republican Party and the conservative movement,” the editorial continues. “Yet Cruz is content to let Trump fly the GOP into the side of a mountain, because Cruz thinks he’ll be able to walk away from the crash. It’s a shallow, cynical play from a candidate putting ambition above all else.” 

The editorial comes soon after the GOP’s last presidential debate of 2015, where Trump tussled with several of the candidates on stage, particularly former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Cruz and the real estate mogul backtracked from previously made negative statements about each other.

When asked in the debate to address why he privately questioned last week Trump’s judgment, Cruz backed off those comments.

“What I said in private is exactly what I’ll say here, which is that the judgment every voter is making here is who has the experience, the vision and judgment to be commander in chief," Cruz said. "That’s the most important decision for voters, and it’s a standard I’m held to and everyone else is held to.”

He added that every Republican presidential candidate on the debate stage — including Trump — “would make an infinitely better commander in chief than Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaDonald Trump Jr. emerges as GOP fundraising force Trump shows peace through strength works after Obama Wake up, Kanye West MORE or Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton on if Bill should’ve resigned over Lewinsky scandal: ‘Absolutely not’ Electoral battle for Hispanics intensifies in Florida Trump adds campaign stops for Senate candidates in Montana, Arizona, Nevada MORE.” 

In its editorial, the Union Leader criticized Cruz for his answer. “Ted Cruz had a chance to stand up for conservative principles on stage in Vegas, and he folded like a gambler with a busted flush,” the paper wrote. 

Cruz, who has been surging nationally and particularly in Iowa, sits in fourth place in New Hampshire GOP polls, just behind Christie, who has risen from seventh place since receiving the Union Leader's endorsement.