The Donald Trump-Ted Cruz bromance is on the rocks: Trump vows to "go to war" if Cruz keeps rising

"If he catches on, then I guess we'll have to go to war," The Donald ominously warns

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published November 17, 2015 2:29PM (EST)

  (AP/John Locher/Reuters/Carlos Barria/Photo montage by Salon)
(AP/John Locher/Reuters/Carlos Barria/Photo montage by Salon)

Everyone's presidential wannabe besties may be nearing the end of the road for their budding friendship. Donald Trump has promised to "go to war" with Ted Cruz if his friend inches any closer to knocking him off his top spot.

During an interview with Joe Kernen on CNBC’s "Squawk Box" on Monday, the Republican presidential frontrunner was asked about the current status of his "frenemies" relationship with Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

"He is starting to make some traction. Are you guys going to have to distance yourselves from each other eventually?" Kernen asked Trump.

Trump has appeared to entertain Cruz's transparent attempt to cozy up to his base of supporters. In September, the two held a joint Capitol Hill rally against the Iran nuclear deal. They had a private powwow back in July at Trump Towers. And Cruz has repeatedly lavished Trump with praise.“I like Donald Trump,” he said this summer. "He is bold, he is brash. He has a colorful way of speaking, and it’s not my way of speaking, but I salute him.”

“Senator Cruz has been so nice to me, I can’t hit him,” Trump said in South Carolina earlier this year, returning the compliment. “I may have to if he starts getting like really close.”

Now, it appears that time may be nearing. "We'll see what happens," Trump replied to Kernen on Monday before reminding the CNBC host that Cruz has so far "been very nice and very supportive of everything I've said, more than anybody else."

"We have a lot of the same ideas," Trump noted before warning that he'll have no hesitation going after his ideological mate if he makes a play for his top spot. “If he catches on, I guess we’ll have to go to war,” Trump said.

Cruz picked up a crucial Iowa endorsement yesterday that could go far too shore up his evangelical support in the state. Iowa Rep. Steve King announced that Cruz was the answer to his prayers, calling the Tea Party hero “the candidate who God will use to restore the soul of America.”

For his part, Cruz has made it no secret that he's just playing the long game for Trump's supporters. “It is my hope that the voters who are currently supporting Donald Trump and every other one of the Republican candidates in time will come to support us,” Cruz told conservatives gathered for a conference organized by Erick Erickson's Red State in August.

Watch Trump's warning to Cruz below:

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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