In what has become the most bizarre spectacle of American politics in ages, the two frontrunners of the Republican Party have brought a new level of carpet-bagging to the podium. Early Easter Sunday, Donald Trump and his rival Ted Cruz gave the entire viewing audience a very special Easter present. Escalating over the prior week, the gasket finally blew and the flood waters of name calling and blaming went out on national television.
The tension between Cruz and Trump has been building since the very beginning of this campaign cycle. Whenever either one saw a little bit of success, something spectacular would happen in order to damage their reputation. Easter Sunday’s debate culminated in a new level of personal attack.
Coming into the Utah caucus, it was discovered that a rather peculiar political ad was run that supported Cruz. The senator stated that neither he nor his campaign had anything to do with the ad and that it had been created by an outside supporter. The ad in question showed an image of Melania Trump nearly naked. Above and below her scantily-clad body appeared the words, “Meet Melania Trump. Your next first lady. Or you could support Ted Cruz on Tuesday.” Very shortly after this ad was discovered, the National Enquirer ran a story on the sanctity of the Cruz marriage. The tabloid claimed to have discovered five secret mistresses of the senator.
Both candidates, now loaded with gunpowder, exploded on stage at the Easter morning debate. The real estate tycoon and his adversary’s display of bickering onstage was an early present to the viewing audience. Donald Trump blamed the Cruz campaign of creating or being involved with the creation of the Melania Trump ad in Utah. Touting his slogan, “Lyin’ Ted is Lying again,” he hurled blame at the senator. Cruz responded by saying that the ad in question was distasteful and that he had no involvement in its creation or distribution.
The discussion then shifted back to the attack against Cruz and his marriage. The National Enquirer has reported that Cruz engaged in extra-marital affairs with five separate women. According to the New York Times, Cruz called it a piece of “garbage” and said the article was “utter lies.” The senator placed the blame for the article on his competitor, saying, “The truth doesn’t matter to [Trump].” Later, at a Wisconsin rally, he declared, “[Trump] will lie and go to sleaze.”
Outraged, the reality show host began to defend himself against allegations that because he knows David J. Pecker, who is the chief executive of the company which produces National Enquirer, the candidate was involved in the article. In a statement to the New York Times, the Republican frontrunner said he was not involved and had not read the article.
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that Democrats are capitalizing on this banter. Hillary Clinton has seized this opportunity to woo disenfranchised Republican women to her team of supporters.
The conflict between the two candidates was boiled down in an interview Trump gave to ABC News. In the interview, he said, “[Cruz] is the one that started it.”
Each campaign has its highlights and lowlights, and during this election cycle, it is coming down to the interactions between these two candidates. The present media spectacle created by Trump and Cruz’s constant bickering has been a constant on the campaign trail and one that is sure to keep Americans in their seats.
Opinion by Harrison Baker
The Dallas Morning Times – Trail Blazers Blog: Heidi Cruz responds to Trump’s threat over nude Melania attack ad
The New York Times: Democrats See Gains as Trump Targets a Wife
The New York Times: Ted Cruz Blames Donald Trump and ‘Henchmen’ for Tabloid Report of Affairs
USA Today: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz battle over delegates, debates — and families
Image Courtesy of Red Carpet Report on Mingle Media TV’s photostream’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License