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UPDATED: Thursday, March 24 2:20 PM EST

The war of words escalated between presidential candidates Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz on Thursday as the Republican reality series continued to spill into real life as the two bickered over their wives.

Donald, real men don’t attack women,” the Texas senator tweeted after the real estate mogul retweeted an unflattering photo of Heidi Cruz. “Your wife is lovely, and Heidi is the love of my life.”

From NBC News:

The exchange came after Trump showed no sign of backing down in the dispute over a campaign ad that featured an old picture of Melania Trump posing handcuffed and nude for GQ magazine.


Trump repeated late Wednesday that he believed Cruz “knew about” the ad, which appeared to be aimed at persuading Mormon women to support Cruz in Tuesday’s Utah primary.



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First, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump bragged about the size of his endowment before cameras during a nationally televised debate. (No, the real estate mogul was not speaking about the size of his monetary inheritance.)

Now, he and Texas Sen. and GOP candidate Ted Cruz have upped the ante in what could serve as a reality television show instead of a race for the most esteemed office in the world. Virtual sparring erupted Tuesday after Trump accused Cruz of using a GQ magazine picture of his wife, Melania, a former model, in an ad.

A fired up Trump then tweeted on Tuesday evening just before early voting polls closed in Arizona: “Lyin’ Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad. Be careful, Lyin’ Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!

Trump tried to correct himself, deleting a similar tweet about 10 minutes earlier. 

From The New York Times:

Mr. Trump appeared to be referring to a recent ad from the “super PAC” Make America Awesome, which showed Mr. Trump’s wife Melania, a former model, posing nude. The ad, which was targeted to Mormon voters, has no ties to Mr. Cruz’s campaign.

But the text beside an image of Mrs. Trump reads: “Meet Melania Trump. Your next first lady. Or, you could support Ted Cruz on Tuesday.”


“Pic of your wife not from us,” he wrote. “Donald, if you try to attack Heidi, you’re more of a coward than I thought. #classless.”

It’s not clear what Trump thinks he knows about Heidi Cruz, a businesswoman who worked in the administration of George W. Bush. But the Times notes that she has spoken about “a trying moment in her life and marriage in 2005, when she suffered through what Mr. Cruz has described as a ‘period of depression’ after moving to Texas from Washington to be closer to her husband.”

The tweet is reflective of Trump’s social media mischief-making. He is also known for verbally drubbing his opponents on the campaign trail.

Before Florida Sen. Marco Rubio dropped out of the race recently, Trump named him “Little Marco,” mocked his debate skills, and reduced him to a caricature during debates.

But the candidate should remember that what works in corporate boardrooms and halls of the Senate does not belong or work in a presidential race. And who cares what beans Trump has to spill about Cruz’s wife? What about concrete economic and jobs plans? Sound off in the comments.

SOURCE: The New York Times | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty