KONFRONTASI - US Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz has attacked his rival, Donald Trump, by questioning his ties to Democrats and his previous support for liberal positions.
"If he's giving checks to Democratic politicians and he supports their views... then it starts to suggest, 'gosh if he publicly supports their views if he finances their causes,'" Senator Cruz told Boston radio station WRKO on Monday.
"Then suddenly when he announces as a candidate for president, every single one of his views changes — listen if he has had a change of heart, I am thrilled," he said.
His remarks came after the two leading candidates clashed in their sharpest and most personal encounters of the presidential race during the 2.5-hour debate in North Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday.
Cruz, a senator from Texas, strongly rejected Trump's accusations that he isn't eligible to be president because he was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father.
A RealClearPolitics daily average national poll on January 15 showed Trump had 34.5 percent support among Republican voters, while Cruz had 19.3 percent.
On Monday, Cruz said if Republican voters want a nominee who will "cozy up to [Democratic Senator] Chuck Schumer — by the way he's written checks to Chuck Schumer,” then you should support him.
Shabir Hassanally, a UK-based political commentator, told Press TV on Monday that Trump is pushing ahead with a carefully calculated campaign to give the ticket to the White House to his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
“I don’t really believe he is angling to be the president of the US,” said Hassanally. “I believe that he has a specific task which is to make sure that Hillary Clinton gets in by being so obnoxious.”
Trump, a billionaire from New York, told ABC News on Sunday that Cruz is “a nasty guy,” adding "nobody likes him. Nobody in Congress likes him."
Meanwhile, Trump himself has been under severe criticism after he called for “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
Although Muslim groups and legal experts have sharply blasted Trump’s inflammatory language, he continues to lead the GOP contenders in the race for the party’s nomination.[ptv]