Republican presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas.) and Donald Trump accused each other of dishonesty and deception during Thursday night’s GOP debate.
“Flexibility is a good thing, but you shouldn’t be flexible on core principles,” Cruz said in reference to Trump’s political ideology. “I like Donald, he is an amazing entertainer. For most of his life, his policies have been very, very liberal. For most of his life, he has described himself as very pro-choice and a supporter of partial birth abortion.”
Cruz also said that Trump supports federal taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood.
“You are the single biggest liar. You probably are worse than Jeb Bush,” Trump said in response. “This guy [Cruz] lied about Ben Carson when he took votes away from Ben Carson in Iowa.”
Trump then accused the Cruz campaign of using robocalls saying that Trump is not running in South Carolina.
“This guy will do anything. Nasty guy, now I know why he doesn’t have one endorsement from any of his colleagues [in the Senate],” Trump said of Cruz.
The Texas Senator said it was “remarkable” that Trump would defend Carson after previously calling the neurosurgeon “pathological and compared him to a child molester, both of which were offensive and wrong.”
Cruz then noted how Trump did not refute the substance that he supports taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood.
“Donald has this weird pattern,” Cruz added. “When you point to his own record, he screams ‘liar, liar, liar.’”
Trump challenged Cruz to cite when he said anything supportive of Planned Parenthood, to which Cruz told the audience to go to his campaign website to find evidence.
After being pushed by Cruz, Trump said that Planned Parenthood does “wonderful things” related to women’s health but not when it comes to abortion.
“The reason principle matters sadly was illustrated by the first questions today,” Cruz said. “The next president is going to appoint one, two, three, four Supreme Court justices. If Donald Trump is president, he will appoint liberals. If Donald Trump is president, you’re Second Amendment will go away.”
Trump then accused Cruz of wanting now-Chief Justice John Roberts on the Supreme Court, who “twice approved Obamacare,” according to Trump.
Cruz later said that he would not have appointed Roberts if he were president, adding he would have chosen a more conservative jurist.
Both men tried to continue the argument until the moderator interrupted to move on the discussion.