- The Washington Times - Monday, February 29, 2016

Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday called on 2016 GOP rival Donald Trump to ask The New York Times to release an off-the-record conversation Mr. Cruz said could show Mr. Trump is open to softening his hard-line positions on immigration.

Buzzfeed reported Monday that the newspaper has audio of a conversation with Mr. Trump from a January editorial board meeting and, citing sources “familiar with the recording,” that Mr. Trump might have indicated a measure of flexibility in his immigration plans.

Speaking to reporters before a rally in San Antonio — and again at the rally — Mr. Cruz said Mr. Trump should call on the newspaper to release the tape.

SEE ALSO: Donald Trump on off-the-record comments to The New York Times: ‘Everything’s negotiable’

“I call on Donald: Ask The New York Times to release the tape,” Mr. Cruz told reporters. “And do so today, before the Super Tuesday primary.”

“It is either false, and if Donald didn’t say that to The New York Times, then he deserves to have this cleared up,” Mr. Cruz said. “The alternative is that it is true — that not only did Donald Trump fund the Gang of Eight Rubio-Schumer amnesty effort, not only did he give over $50,000 to five of the eight members of the Gang of Eight, but he actually now is telling The New York Times editorial board pay no attention to what I’m saying on immigration, because I, Donald Trump, don’t intend to do anything.”

“You know, he recently said he loves the poorly educated,” Mr. Cruz said. “Well, I hope it’s not the case that Donald Trump is telling The New York Times editorial board that he is deliberately misleading the voters and he has no intention of doing anything he’s saying right now. That tape can clear it up, and the voters deserve to know if he says something different when he’s talking to The New York Times than when he’s talking to the voters, and we deserve to know before Super Tuesday.”

At the rally, Mr. Cruz also appealed directly to Mr. Trump.

Donald, if you’re sitting in Manhattan telling The New York Times that you’re lying to the voters, the voters have a right to know,” he said.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, another chief rival of Mr. Trump‘s, also called on him to ask that the tape be released.

Donald Trump should ask the New York Times to release the audio of his interview with them so that we can see exactly what it is he truly believes about this issue he’s made the cornerstone of his campaign,” Mr. Rubio said at a rally in Arkansas.

The Trump campaign had no immediate comment on whether he would call on the paper to release the tape.

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