Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has been accused of running a presidential campaign full of dirty tricks and scandalous low blows.
On Sunday, in an increasingly desperate fight for the GOP nomination, he took to the talk show circuit to make his most outrageous accusation against billionaire Donald Trump — that Trump is mobbed up.
Ahead of the Super Tuesday presidential primaries that could help the Republican frontrunner expand his delegate lead, Cruz dismissed Trump’s wealth as a result of “picking the right Daddy” and suggested the billionaire has business ties to the Mafia that could surface if Trump’s tax returns are released.
“There have been multiple media reports about Donald’s business dealings with the mob, with the Mafia. Maybe his taxes show those business dealings are a lot more extensive than has been reported,” Cruz said in an interview with NBC News’s “Meet the Press.”
Cruz also accused Trump’s companies of having dealings with major crime families.
It’s not the first time the allegations have surfaced. Trump opponents have been unsuccessfully trying for years to connect him to the Mafia, largely because of the amount of construction work he has done in New York City and New Jersey, and because of his gambling operations.
But Cruz, who was accused of cheating his way to a win in the Iowa caucuses, is currently dealing with a major credibility problem that makes any of his allegations unlikely to stick.
Trump, for his part, relishes watching his rivals flailing desperately ahead of tomorrow’s Super Tuesday primaries, where Trump is expected to win nearly all of the states up for grabs.
“It’s amazing what’s going on,” he told NBC, calling his campaign a “movement.”
On CNN, Trump explained his own brand of populism. “I’m representing a lot of anger out there,” he said. “We’re not angry people, but we’re angry at the way this country’s being run (and) angry at the way the Republican Party is being run.”
Trump also rejected calls from Sen. Marco Rubio — who he repeatedly referred to Sunday as “Little Marco” — and Cruz to release his tax returns, saying he can’t share returns that are under IRS audit. Trump says he’s already shared his personal financial details in separate disclosure forms.
“You can’t tell much from tax returns” anyway, Trump said on CNN.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.