Donald Trump is trying to stop Ted Cruz from airing ads charging Trump can’t be trusted on life. Cruz riposted back during his appearance at CNN’s town hall in South Carolina:
COOPER: You got a cease and desist letter today from Donald Trump. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that actually happening in a race. One of many firsts that we’ve seen. What did you think when you actually got the letter?
CRUZ: I’ll confess, I laughed. This has not been a typical race by any sense and I don’t think anyone is surprised that Donald is threatening to sue people. He’s done that most of his adult life. But this letter really was – look, I’ve practiced of 20 years and this letter really pressed the bounds of the frivolous and ridiculous letters I’ve ever seen. He was upset about an ad that we’re running on T.V. The ad talks about the vacancy of the Supreme Court and that we’ve got issues such as life, and marriage, and religious liberty, and the 2nd amendment that are in the ballots.
COOPER: And it uses an old interview from Tim Russert back in the late 90’s?
CRUZ: It plays Donald Trump doing an interview Time Russert where he explains in his own words, he says,” he’s very very pro-choice, he supports partial birth abortion -” and he says, “he’s pro-choice in every respect.” But most of the words in the ad are his own words on national television … I’m doing an interview with Tim Russert where he explains in his own words, he says he’s very, very pro-choice, he support partial birth abortion, and he says he’s pro-choice in every respect. But, most of the words in the ad are his own words on national television, and his argument in the letter is running his own words, was defamation.
COOPER: He says, though, you’re misrepresenting his current position, that he has evolved – pro life –
CRUZ: … It is quite literally the most ridiculous theory I’ve ever heard, that telling the voters what Donald Trumps actual record is is deceitful and lying . And, listen, I said this morning – held a press conference where I read his letter to everyone, and I invited Mr. Trump. I said, please, Donald. File this lawsuit.
COOPER: You want to depose him?
CRUZ: And, you know why? Well, that’s part of it, is that in any defamation case truth is a complete defense, and so his lawyer said he said that saying he’s pro-choice, which actually we don’t say he’s pro-choice. Donald says he’s pro-choice in every respect.
COOPER: But, that was back in the late 1990’s. He’s, again, has said he’s evolved. Do you accept that he is pro-life?
CRUZ: Well, let’s put it this way, four days ago on the debate stage, Donald Trump explained how many wonderful things he thought Planned Parenthood does. That was four days ago. Planned Parenthood is the largest abortionist in this country. They are responsible for taking the lives of millions of unborn children. I’ll tell you, nobody who is actually pro-life can stand up on national stage and sing the praises of planned parenthood as wonderful – I don’t think they do anything wonderful, and I don’t think we need to be sending federal taxpayer funds to an organization that on video has been implicated in what appears to be multiple federal felonies.
COOPER: I don’t want to sound like I’m arguing his case for him, but just for fact (ph) sake, he says he just does not support abortion at all. He’s opposed to it, but there are other things that Planned Parenthood –
CRUZ: Well, look, as I laid out. So, his claim is if you tell people his record, if you actually show Donald Trump on national television his own words, that he’s going to file a lawsuit to prevent you from doing that. I pointed out, listen, we’ve got at least four pieces of evidence. Number one his own words on national television. Number two, what he said on the debate stage four days ago, singing the praises of Planned Parenthood. Number three, last year, not very long ago, when talking about Supreme Court nominees, Donald said his sister – now his sister is a Court of Appeals judge who was put on the Court of Appeals by Bill Clinton. He said his sister would make a phenomenal Supreme Court Justice.
Now, listen, it’s great to support your sister, that’s a nice thing. But, if you’re actually suggesting someone for the Supreme Court, his sister is a radical pro-abortion judge. She struck down New Jersey’s ban on partial-birth abortion as irrational. That’s an extreme position. That’s who he suggested as a Supreme Court Justice last year.
And, one of the things I laid out, listen. Donald, for the last four decades has written checks to Democrats over, and over, and over again. From Jimmy Carter, to Hillary Clinton, to John Kerry, to Chuck Schumer, to Harry Reid. And –
COOPER: He has a lot of friends, he says.
CRUZ: Yeah, but it’s not friends, and he’s given – so, in 2006, for example, when the Democrats took over Congress Donald and his son gave about three times as much to the Democrats as they did to the Republicans. They helped fund putting Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid as Speaker of the House and Majority Leader of the Senate. They helped set the stage for Obamacare.
And, for anyone that actually cares for conservative judges, I’ll tell you, Anderson, there is no universe in which I could write a check to Chuck Schumer or Harry Reid, or Hillary Clinton, or John Kerry, or Joe Biden, or Jimmy Carter, and anyone who’s done that by definition does not care about conservative justices because the people he supported fought tooth and nail to put liberals on the Supreme Court. I think the stakes are too high for that.
Thomas Valentine is a researcher for the American Principles Project and a junior at the Franciscan University of Steubenville.