Donald Trump insists he must be "nastier" than Ted Cruz because the Texas senator "lies" and "looks like a jerk"

"People don't like him! At all!" the Donald declared

By Scott Eric Kaufman
Published January 26, 2016 2:00PM (EST)
Ted Cruz, Donald Trump   (AP/Jose Luis Magana/Reuters/Brian Snyder/Photo montage by Salon)
Ted Cruz, Donald Trump (AP/Jose Luis Magana/Reuters/Brian Snyder/Photo montage by Salon)

Republican front-runner Donald Trump lit into his closest competitor, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, claiming that he "is a nasty guy" who "lies," which is why "people don't like him, at all."

"I think Ted is a nasty guy," Trump began. "People don't like him! At all! He has got all of these senators -- Republican senators -- he doesn't have support of one of them. He gets a wacko like this Glenn Beck who is always -- every time I see him, he is crying, he's so emotional. What a mess!"

"He gets a whack job like Glenn Beck to support him, which is, I think, a negative, not a positive," he continued. "I think Ted has some problems -- he doesn't tell the truth."

"Ted Cruz lies," Trump later said, returning to today's favorite theme. "He is a liar, that's why nobody likes him, that's why his Senate people won't endorse him, that's why he stands on the middle of the Senate floor and can't make a deal with anybody."

"He looks like a jerk, standing all by himself," he continued. "There's something to say about having a little bit of ability to get other people to do things. You can't be a lone wolf and stand there."

"That's sort of what we have right now as a president," a not-so-subtle reminder that like Barack Obama, Ted Cruz is a junior senator whose opposition to his party rankled some insiders. "We have a president that can't get anything done so he just keeps signing executive orders all over the place."

Trump also admitted that "I have been going to Sunday school for a long time, like you did, Joe," his tense suggesting that unlike Scarborough, he is still attending Sunday school. Given his lack of support among evangelicals, any confession of that sort may smack of pandering.

Watch the entire exchange below via MSNBC.

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz Are Neck-and-Neck Going Into Iowa Caucuses

Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at

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