Washington, New Hampshire — Ted Cruz said rival Donald Trump is “dismayed” by the Texas senator’s ascent in the polls and continued to dissect the real estate mogul’s history supporting Democratic causes during a campaign stop here Monday.
“Donald seems to be a little rattled. For whatever reason he is very, very dismayed and I guess as conservatives continue to unite behind our campaign, as his poll numbers continue to go down, that seems to be – he’s a little testy about it,” Cruz said.
Cruz took Trump to task over his past support for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the $700 billion Congress approved to help stabilize the banks in 2008, and his early backing of universal healthcare coverage.
“Ronald Reagan did not spend the first 60 years of his life supporting Democratic politicians, advocating for big government politics, supporting things like the TARP big bank bailouts, supporting things like expanding Obamacare to turn it into socialized medicine,” Cruz said. “That’s not what Ronald Reagan did.”
On FOX News on Monday morning, Trump attempted to defend his shifts in positions by highlighting Reagan’s early years as a “pretty strong liberal.”
“Before I was a politician, to be honest with you, my views change and everybody’s views change,” Trump said.
But Cruz pushed back on Trump’s defense, telling reporters “Reagan spent decades as a principled conservative.”
Trump has called Cruz “nasty” and suggested “everybody hates Ted” as the battle between the two has intensified.
Cruz responded on to those accusations on Twitter Monday:
This article first appeared on NBCNews.com.