Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during a campaign stop on Jan. 13, 2016, in Dorchester, S.C.
Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/AP

Cruz talks Trump, Trump, and more Trump in Iowa

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – At Ted Cruz’s rally Wednesday night, it was all about Donald Trump.

Whether the Texas Senator was going on at length about how “gentle Donald” is too afraid of Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly to show up Thursday night, comparing the candidates views on abortion, or detailing a potential time, place, and host for a “mano-a-mano” face-off Saturday in Sioux City,  the firm focus was on the GOP front-runner

“We have the venue. We have the time. All we’re missing is the candidate,” Cruz thundered.

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He and the six surrogates who introduced him spoke at length about abortion, seemingly in hopes of highlighting Trump’s less zealous opposition to the issue. Cruz is indeed to the right of Trump, who supports the rape and incest exceptions to abortion legislation and doesn’t want to pull government funding for Planned Parenthood just because the organization performs abortions with outside funds. Cruz’s campaign issued an ad earlier this week to highlight these and other more liberal views that Trump professed in the 1990s, all of which underscores just how crucial the Cruz camp thinks evangelical voters are to his candidacy. 

The six surrogates who introduced the Texas senator at Wednesday’s rally portrayed the race as a choice between the faithful, uber conservative senator and Trump, who they view as a compromising candidate that wouldn’t fight abortion.

“We need to chose well,” said Family Leader President and Iowa evangelical heavyweight Bob Vander Plaats, condemning the rival candidate for saying he doesn’t ask God for forgiveness and saying he’d use his deal-making skills to work with others. “I am here to tell you that the sanctity of life is not up for the ‘Art of the Deal.’ God’s design for marriage and family is not up for the ‘Art of the Deal,’ our religious liberty is not up for the ‘Art of the Deal,’ our Constitution is not up for the ‘Art of the Deal.’” 

Family Research Council and national evangelical leader Tony Perkins argued that the next president’s Supreme Court nominees could fundamentally change the country’s laws on issues like abortion and that Cruz would nominate true conservatives. 

“Caucus for the sanctity of life,” he said.

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz

Cruz talks Trump, Trump, and more Trump in Iowa