Donald Trump on Monday threatened to file a lawsuit challenging Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) eligibility to run for president unless the Texas senator apologizes for what Trump called “totally untrue” statements.
“Ted Cruz is a totally unstable individual. He is the single biggest liar I’ve ever come across, in politics or otherwise, and I have seen some of the best of them,” Trump said in a Monday statement. “His statements are totally untrue and completely outrageous. It is hard to believe a person who proclaims to be a Christian could be so dishonest and lie so much.”
“Cruz has become unhinged and is lying with the hopes that his
statements will go unchecked until after the election and he will save
his failing campaign,” Trump added later in the statement.
Trump threatened to file a lawsuit, noting that Cruz was born in Canada, albeit to an American mother.
“One of the ways I can fight back is to bring a lawsuit against him relative to the fact that he was born in Canada and therefore cannot be president,” Trump said in the statement. “If he doesn’t take down his false ads and retract his lies, I will do so immediately. Additionally, the RNC should intervene and if they don’t they are in default of their pledge to me.”
Trump had telegraphed the lawsuit threat in a tweet last week.
In his Monday statement, Trump attacked Cruz for a number of statements the Texas senator has made. Cruz has recently taken stronger hits on Trump, including suggesting that his rival is aligned with President Barack Obama on the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. Trump referenced that in his statement.
The real estate mogul also said Monday that Cruz claimed he was “in favor of ObamaCare, when in fact I have spoken about repealing and replacing this disaster of a system at every speech throughout my campaign and since it’s inception.”
In a TV ad released Monday, the Cruz campaign warned against Trump appointing a liberal Supreme Court justice using a 1999 clip of Trump saying that he was “pro-choice.”
Trump addressed that suggestion during his statement as well, noting that “like Ronald Reagan, on many issues, I have evolved.” He also said he “will appoint a great conservative” to the Supreme Court if he is elected president.
Trump followed his scathing statement with a press conference in South Carolina, where he said he would be doing Cruz a “favor” by filing the lawsuit before the general election.
He added that he doesn’t think Cruz performs well under pressure, calling the Texas senator a “basketcase.”
Cruz responded to Trump’s presser on Twitter:
You cannot simply scream “liar” when someone points out your actual positions: https://t.co/DI5HnSln62
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 15, 2016
In his own Monday campaign stop in the Palmetto state, Cruz also criticized comments Trump made about 9/11 during Saturday’s Republican presidential debate. Trump was asked about a comment he made in 2008 wondering why Congress did not try to impeach former President George W. Bush, but did not say whether he still supports that view.
“When Donald Trump sided with MoveOn.org and Michael Moore and the extreme fever-swamp left wing, on calling for the impeachment of George W. Bush, that demonstrated where he was coming from,” Cruz said, according to Buzzfeed News.