The three top GOP contenders in the Iowa caucuses turned on each other Sunday just a day before voting begins with Ted Cruz taking jabs at Marco Rubio, Rubio returning fire and Donald Trump targeting Cruz in a Twitterstorm.
Trump is the Iowa leader according to the latest poll from the Des Moines Register/Bloomberg but Cruz, a Texas senator, in second place, went after Rubio, a Florida senator, who is in third, but has been getting momentum.
Cruz focused on Rubio in several Sunday talk show appearances, following his campaign’s recent TV ad attacks at Rubio.
“Both Trump and Marco are attacking me. They're attacking me with all their might. And we're drawing contrasts. . . A vote for Marco Rubio is a vote for amnesty. And a vote for Donald Trump is a vote for ObamaCare,” Cruz said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” drawing attention to the Florida senator’s effort to get a comprehensive immigration reform bill through the Senate.
Rubio said, in an appearance on the same program immediately following Cruz (the two hugged, according to moderator Chuck Todd, as they crossed paths) that he was now advocating “securing the border” before any reform.
Rubio said on CNN’s State of the Union of Cruz, “He’s just making stuff up.” And on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Rubio said that he opposes “virtually everything Barack Obama stands for.”
“And what's happened here, it's kind of bizarre,” he said. “Because Ted is leading in a lot of the polls. He has a vast organization here and has spent a lot of money.” Rubio deftly portrayed Cruz as the front-runner in a way that would diminish expectations if the Texan comes in second to Trump.
Cruz also has an ad that finishes with a picture of Rubio made to look like a famous poster from Obama’s 2008 campaign that says: “Rubio, the Republican Obama.”
Trump, meanwhile, was on Twitter attacking Cruz and later in the day at a Council Bluffs, Iowa event spoke out about the Texan possibly not being eligible to be president since he was born in Canada.