Trump threatens to sue Cruz for ‘not being a natural citizen’

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Donald Trump

WASHINGTON – Donald Trump on Friday threatened to sue Ted Cruz for “not being a natural citizen” if the Texas senator “doesn’t clean up his act” and stop running negative ads against him.

“If @TedCruz doesn’t clean up his act, stop cheating, & doing negative ads, I have standing to sue him for not being a natural born citizen,” he tweeted.

Trump has previously argued that if Cruz won the Republican nomination, Democrats would argue that the Canada-born Texas senator was ineligible for the presidency. Last month, Trump asked a rally if he should sue Cruz “just for fun” over the issue.

Earlier Friday, Trump questioned the sincerity of Cruz’s faith, accusing his opponent of being “so dishonest.”

“How can Ted Cruz be an Evangelical Christian when he lies so much and is so dishonest?” the Republican front-runner tweeted.

Trump also had called Cruz’s honesty into question in a tweet Thursday night.

“Lying Cruz put out a statement, ‘Trump & Rubio are w/Obama on gay marriage.’ Cruz is the worst liar, crazy or very dishonest. Perhaps all 3?” Trump said.

But the Cruz campaign told CNN that Trump was throwing a “Trumpertantrum,” because he lacks “political arguments.”

“Sounds like another ‘Trumpertantrum’ to me,” Catherine Frazier, Cruz’s national press secretary, said Friday. “To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, when one resorts to personal attacks, it means they have not a single political argument left.”

“As for Cruz, he will not respond in kind and will continue to focus on the substance,” she added.

Trump and Cruz are in a tight race in South Carolina heading into the state’s primary later this month. Evangelicals are a key voting bloc in the Bible Belt state and Trump is leading with white evangelicals in the state, according to an NBC/WSJ/Marist poll last month.

But to keep Cruz, a Southern Baptist, from faring well, Trump has increasingly portrayed Cruz as fundamentally dishonest.

Trump previously slammed his chief presidential rival as a “total liar” as Cruz and his allies have claimed that Trump favors government-run, universal health care.

“Look, Ted Cruz is a total liar. I am so against Obamacare. I’ve been saying it for two years in my speeches, I’m going to repeal and replace Obamacare,” Trump said earlier this month on ABC’s “This Week.” “I don’t even know where he gets this.”

By Eugene Scott, CNN