Nashua, New Hampshire — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz brushed off criticism from Donald Trump Wednesday and refocused his aim on a different target: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Cruz attacked Rubio at an event hosted by radio host Jeff Kuhner in southern New Hampshire.
"Is Marco Rubio a genuine conservative?" Kuhner asked after listing Rubio's support for "open borders," "NSA spying," and the Obama administration's Trans Pacific Partnership during an onstage interview.
"On each of the issues you just listed, Marco's views are virtually indistinguishable from Hillary Clinton," Cruz replied. "Let me say this — if we nominate a candidate who's pro-amnesty, we'll lose. It's not complicated. It's real simple."
Cruz pointed to the 2012 election as evidence for his theory and noted the Republican Party got clobbered after nominating Mitt Romney, whose record on healthcare caused headaches for conservatives seeking contrast with Obamacare.
"Both Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton want to grant amnesty and make citizens of 12 million people who are here illegally," Cruz said. "And by the way, you know who also has that view? Donald Trump."Cruz said Trump's rhetoric does not match the proposals he put forward, and the senator said, "the only person who has always opposed amnesty, and who's always opposed citizenship is me."
The Texas senator also touted his own victory over Trump and sought to raise questions about Trump's emotional maturity."Have you noticed Donald doesn't take losing well?" Cruz asked. "Donald told us every day for a year he was gonna win Iowa. Win it big. Win it huge. And then he said, well the people of Iowa are stupid and then he skipped the Iowa debate. It kind of makes you think, what's next? Is he going to say the people of New Hampshire are stupid? Is he going to skip the New Hampshire debate?"
The New Hampshire Republican presidential debate will take place on Saturday at St. Anselm College in Goffstown.