Sometimes it is the unscripted moments that produce some of the best sound bites. Senator Ted Cruz has been loathe to attacking Donald Trump citing Reagan’s 11th commandment (which apparently does not apply to Marco Rubio) about not attacking fellow presidential candidates. Not only that, Cruz hasn’t really even drawn any marked distinctions between himself and Trump, relying largely on telling his own story.
However, in an informal moment, Cruz was asked about immigration and said “We must follow the law.” But then, without any prodding, proceeded to point out a difference between him and Trump:
It’s pretty easy to hear what he is saying but Buzzfeed did create a transcript:
QUESTIONER: Both you and Donald Trump are really strong on immigration, but he supports deporting all the illegal immigrants. Are you willing to say the same?
TED CRUZ: Absolutely, yes. We should enforce the law.
T.C.: We should enforce the law.
T.C.: And in fact, look, there’s a difference. He’s advocated allowing folks to come back in and become citizens. I oppose that.
Q: So no citizens and all of them?
T.C.: So, if you read I have a very detailed 11-page immigration proposal that’s on my website it’s TedCruz.org. It was designed with Steve King and Jeff Sessions were the two who sat down with me to prepare it and it is enforce the law across the board.
Emphasis mine. That is one of the first times I have seen or heard Ted Cruz draw a clear policy distinction between him and Donald Trump. There is no doubt Trump will get wind of this and it will be interesting to see what he says. Trump has thinner skin than President Obama and takes even the slightest of criticism as a full on personal attack.
Ted Cruz knows how important Iowa is this year as opposed to years past. A win in Iowa would be bad for Trump who has done nothing but brag about his poll numbers whenever he can. Losing the first contest in this race would be a serious blow. For Cruz, a win would give him a lot of momentum going into New Hampshire.