- The Washington Times - Friday, April 15, 2016

GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump asked at a Friday rally in Plattsburgh, New York, whether it would be “rude” of him to say 2016 GOP rival Ted Cruz’s poll numbers are “really tanking” ahead of Tuesday’s primary in New York.

Cruz is going really down, because people have been watching him and somehow there’s really nothing compelling there,” Mr. Trump said. “He’s the last hope to stop Trump — that’s all he’s got going.

“But his poll numbers — he was down like 12 points” he said. “A poll just came out as I walked up. I said, ‘would it be rude of me if I said that Ted Cruz’s poll numbers are really tanking? Would that be rude?’”

The latest Real Clear Politics average of polling on the state has Mr. Trump at about 53 percent support, Ohio Gov. John Kasich at about 22 percent, and Mr. Cruz at about 18 percent.

As he did at a GOP dinner in New York City Thursday, Mr. Trump also offered a forceful defense of “New York values” after Mr. Cruz had used the phrase to attack Mr. Trump ahead of the Iowa caucuses.

“Boy, he wished he didn’t say that, right?” Mr. Trump said. “That was a bad thing. And he said it with hatred toward New Yorkers; he said it with hatred toward me, but me I don’t care about. But he said it with a lot of anger and a lot of hatred, and he was talking about everything that you know he was talking about.”

“Now he’s trying to make excuses — you know, saying, ‘well, I meant liberal. I meant liberal,’” Mr. Trump said. “He doesn’t mean liberal. Not too many liberals in this room — could be a few, but that’s OK, they’ve been very nice.”

At an MSNBC town hall Thursday, Mr. Cruz said he doesn’t regret the line and that it actually originated with Mr. Trump.

“He was explaining why he was a strong supporter of partial birth abortion and Donald’s explanation for why he supported partial birth abortion, he said, hey, I’m a New Yorker, those are my values,” Mr. Cruz said.

Earlier in the day in Binghamton, Mr. Cruz also told reporters he feels “tremendously encouraged” at the support he’s seeing in New York and across the country.

“We are traveling the state, we are traveling the country, and at this point we’ve won 11 elections in a row, so I could not be more encouraged at the support we’re seeing,” he said.


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