REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Bitter rivalry of Republican presidential candidates worsened at Town Hall
If there was one major takeaway from Tuesday night’s GOP Town Hall, it is that all three presidential candidates are no longer committed to supporting their party’s nominee–whoever that may be–a new sign of just how bitter the Republican presidential race has gotten.
Party officials asked candidates to sign the pledge in September, but as the primary field narrowed, the bad blood between the remaining contenders only intensified.
“I’m not in the habit of supporting someone who attacks my wife and my family,” said Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. “Donald is not going to be the GOP nominee. We’re going to beat him.”
Donald Trump rebutted with Cruz not having to support him.
“I’m not asking for his support,” said Trump. “I want the people’s support.”
CNN’s Anderson Cooper moderated the debate.
“So the pledge you took is null and void?” said Cooper. “The idea of supporting whoever the Republican nominee is–you say you will no longer guarantee your support for the Republican nominee.”
Trump said he’s been “treated very unfairly.”
Ohio Gov. John Kasich said he will see what happens.
“If the nominee is somebody that I think is really hurting the country and dividing the country, I can’t stand behind them,” said Kasich.
The bitter rivalry between Trump and Cruz worsened when the issue of Trump’s so-called attack of Cruz’s wife on Twitter came into question.
Trump said he did not start the Twitter war.
Cooper shot back at Trump with “Sir, with all due respect, that’s the argument of a five-year-old.”
During the Town Hall, Trump also addressed the controversy over his campaign manager’s recent arrest on a simple battery charge.
The incident took place at a press conference. Trump said his aide was unjustly accused by a reporter.
He said he would not fire his aide and stressed his loyalty as boss and as a leader.
Another highlight during the CNN Town Hall was Trump and Cruz’s reiteration of their plans to stop terrorists in the wake of the Brussels attacks.
Trump called for a reconsideration of supporting NATO, calling the intergovernmental military alliance obsolete, while Cruz explained his call for increased policing in Muslim neighborhoods in America.
“Islamism is our enemy,” said Cruz. “When President Obama and Hillary Clinton and the modern Democratic party play this politically correct game of denying it, it means they don’t fight it effectively.”
The Texas senator got a big boost to his campaign in Wisconsin with Gov. Scott Walker and other state legislators expressing their support for him.
This is Trump’s biggest test yet of whether he can beat a Republican establishment that seemed to have united against him.