On the day that his campaign got a huge boost from a Jeb Bush endorsement, Ted Cruz continued to focus his aim on Donald Trump.
The senator from Texas mentioned the name of his chief rival several times, and poked fun at Mr Trump for what Mr Cruz said was naivety on foreign policy.
“Donald Trump suggested that America should withdraw from Nato,” he stated. “There’s a technical term for that, it’s called nuts.
“I recognise this foreign policy stuff is complicated. But withdrawing from Nato would be a tremendous victory for Putin, a tremendous victory for Isis. Isis would dance in the street.”
A few hundred people were packed into a ballroom under crystal chandeliers at a New York City Midtown hotel on Wednesday to hear Mr Cruz speak. And he spoke like a man confident he should be the next president.
Mr Cruz won the Republican vote in Utah on Tuesday, claiming 40 delegates.
Donald Trump, Mr Cruz’s chief rival, handily won Arizona and got all 58 delegates up for grabs in that state.
Mr Trump now has 739 delegates, to Mr Cruz’s 465. The remaining Republican rival John Kasich has 145 delegates.
The senator from Texas maintains he is the best hope to keep Mr Trump from getting enough delegates to wrap up the Republican presidential nomination before the convention in Cleveland in July.
“A year ago there were 17 Republican candidates in the field. But what we’ve seen is the field has narrowed and narrowed and narrowed. As we stand here today, there is only one campaign that has beaten Donald Trump over and over and over again,” he said.
It will be hard for Cruz opponents — including Mr Kasich — to argue that Mr Cruz is not the party’s best bet to challenge Mr Trump after the endorsement from Jeb Bush, who was the assumed party favourite early in the race.
Mr Bush, though, could never establish enough momentum in a bizarre nominating contest, and he dropped out of the race last month.
Mr Cruz remains in the race and he implored his audience on Wednesday to vote for him.
“In the last 10 days our campaign has been supported by Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Lindsey Graham…” he said. “If you want to talk about the full spectrum of the Republican party, that’s it.”Reuse content