- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 1, 2016

Donald Trump dismissed attacks over his endorsement from boxing legend and convicted rapist Mike Tyson, saying the criticism only proves that his main rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Ted Cruz, is a “liar.”

“It just shows what a liar he is,” Mr. Trump said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Mr. Cruz and a super PAC supporting him have been assailing Mr. Trump for the endorsement last week from Tyson, as well as for Mr. Trump defending Tyson in 1991, saying the boxer was “railroaded” when he was convicted of rape in Indiana.

The attacks came ahead of a key primary Tuesday in the Hoosier State.

“I haven’t seen Mike in years,” said Mr. Trump, the GOP front-runner. “This guy is a real liar. That’s why we calling him Lyin’ Ted Cruz.”

However, earlier this week, Mr. Trump was bragging about the endorsement by the former world heavyweight champion, saying “when I get endorsed by the tough ones, I like it, because you know what? We need toughness now.”

Tyson served three years in prison for raping Desiree Washington, a contestant at the Miss Black America contest in Indianapolis.

“Donald Trump said he thinks Mike Tyson is a ‘tough guy.’ Well, I don’t think rapists are tough guys. I think they are cowards and weaklings and bullies,” Mr. Cruz said in his segment of “Fox News Sunday.”

He continued: “And you want a contrast of this entire race, it is Donald and Mike Tyson, a convicted rapist, versus me standing with Carly Fiorina and [Indiana Gov.] Mike Pence, and I think [for] the good people of the Hoosier State, that’s a choice Midwestern good sense and common judgment is going to yield, I hope, the right decision.”

Mrs. Fiorina, who would be Mr. Cruz’s vice-presidential running mate if he were nominated, spoke similarly Friday, saying alongside the Texan that she didn’t consider “a convicted rapist a tough guy.”

Trusted Leadership PAC, which is backing Mr. Cruz, has announced a $375,000 online ad buy that includes a spot titled “The Company You Keep,” which focuses on Mr. Trump’s ties to Tyson.

The 30-second spot juxtaposes Mr. Cruz’s endorsement from Mr. Pence with Mr. Trump’s endorsement from Tyson, and it highlights the billionaire businessman’s defense of the boxer against rape charges.

Mr. Cruz has made the exact same comparison, although his campaign and the super PAC are prohibited from coordinating their activities.

In the ad, audio from a newscast from the time plays over video of Mr. Trump walking through one of his casinos: “One of the leaders of the effort to keep Tyson out of prison is Donald Trump.”

It cuts to video of Mr. Trump saying, “You have a young woman who was in his hotel room late in the evening at her own will, who was seen dancing for the beauty contest, dancing with a big smile on her face.”

The ad then presents the endorsement from Tyson, who tells an interviewer: “I like Trump, yeah. He should be president of the United States.”

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