Ted Cruz says his truthful assertions on Donald Trump’s record have ‘rattled’ the businessman

MAYA T. PRABHU/STAFF Sen. Ted Cruz greets supporters during a campaign stop Monday in Camden.

CAMDEN — Republican presidential candidate Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said opponent Donald Trump must be worried that his poll numbers are dropping based on comments made earlier Monday saying he would sue Cruz if he did not pull “false” television ads.

“Today Donald Trump held a press conference where he apparently lost it,” Cruz said during a campaign stop in Camden. “I mean he was just going on and on about how I’m the most horrible person in the world because I keep repeating the things he said.”

Trump told the media Monday afternoon that he would sue Cruz over his citizenship if he does not stop spreading “lies” in his advertisements and retract his statements.

“One of the ways I can fight back is to bring a lawsuit against him relative to the fact that he was born in Canada and therefore cannot be president,” Trump said in a press release.

Cruz did not directly address Trump’s threat of legal action but said the press conference was the “most rattled” he’d ever seen the reality star.

“I guess the only explanation one can have is that his internal poll numbers must be plummeting after that debate,” Cruz said, drawing cheers and laughter from the few hundred who gathered to see him at Teneleven Galleria.

Cruz ran through his campaign stump speech, listing the five things he would do on his first day as president. Among those would be rescinding President Barack Obama’s “illegal and unconstitutional” executive orders, investigating Planned Parenthood and ripping up the Iran nuclear deal.

“The next day I look forward to nominating a replacement to Justice (Antonin) Scalia,” he said, of the Supreme Court judge who died suddenly Saturday.

Cruz has said he would “absolutely” filibuster any nominee Obama proposes. Republicans have said the next president, who they believe will be a member of their party, should be the one to nominate Scalia’s replacement.

“We are one justice away from a radical five justice liberal majority on the court the likes of which this country has (never seen),” Cruz said. “The existing court we have is already a judicial activist extreme court. But one more liberal justice and we will see our constitutional rights swept away like never before seen in history.”

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Camden resident Mac Hornor said he’s “pretty much decided” he plans to vote for Cruz in Saturday’s primary.

“This guy is the real deal,” Hornor said. “He’s religious, he believes in the Constitution and that’s what we need.”

The stop in Camden was the second of Cruz’s three scheduled appearances in South Carolina on Monday. Cruz held a rally in Aiken earlier Monday and later headed to a campaign stop in Florence.

Reach Maya T. Prabhu at 843-509-8933.