The Republican race for President got increasingly bitter on Wednesday as Donald Trump accused Ted Cruz of election fraud in Iowa and Cruz responded by repeatedly mocking Trump while barnstorming through the Granite State.
“Have you noticed that Donald doesn’t take losing well?” Cruz asked to laughter and cheers from a crowd at a middle school.
“I don’t think people are interested in a temper tantrum, or you could call it a Trumper tantrum,” Cruz said to more cheers.
It wasn’t just one or two efforts to jab at Trump, as Cruz repeatedly went out of his way to use his final event of Wednesday to portray Trump as a thin-skinned bully.
“I mean, a lot of mornings I pick up my iPhone and crack up laughing at the latest insult,” Cruz added.
Trump got the ball rolling earlier on Wednesday by charging that Cruz had engaged in voter fraud in Iowa, as he demanded a new Iowa Caucus.
Ted Cruz didn't win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!
Much as I heard a crowd thoroughly enjoy Cruz going after Trump in Iowa, this audience in New Hampshire seemed all for the verbal rebuke of him as well.
“There’s a reason Donald does this; he doesn’t want to debate the substance and the record,” said Cruz, who has argued that Trump is not a real conservative on many issues.
Trump was not in New Hampshire on Wednesday; he will hold two rallies on Thursday in New Hampshire.
But a schedule put out by Trump’s campaign also indicated something different for Trump – two retail stops, as Trump will meet with local business leaders in Manchester, and visit the local police department during their shift change.
Those sorts of events are normal for candidates running for President – but not for Trump, who favors big rallies.