TONWINDALOO, NEW YORK — While campaigning in upstate New York this week, billionaire mogul and reality-TV B-level celebrity Donald J. Trump took his feud with Senator Ted Cruz to w a whole level — he challenged the Texas Republican to a “rumble.”
“No weapons; just skin on skin,” Trump told reporters outside a bowling alley Tuesday morning, “that’s the rules for the rumble.” Mr. Trump said he was issuing a challenge to Cruz “and all you other Greasers out there” to meet him in Central Park after sundown for a physical fight between the two sides, and the loser would have to drop out of the Republican Primary.
Mr. Trump, who has been tussling over Twitter and in the media with Cruz over each other’s wives, told the press he was “getting tired of all the foreplay” and wants to “skip to the fucking.”
“The fucking of course,” Trump said with a grin on his face, “meaning the rumble. It’s going to be yooge rumble, let me tell you. I have the best rumbles. People always leave rumbles with me knowing they were in the most luxurious, best rumble of their lives, and we have people from all over the globe trying to book a rumble with me. A Trumple is a spectacle like none other, yooge, yooge winners know this.”
Reached for comment, the Cruz campaign said that “Senator Cruz would normally not even entertain the idea of a physical fight in this context, but he understands that sometimes you must fight Trumpism with Trumpism.” Cruz is, according to the campaign aide we spoke to, “bulking up for the rumble” and calling all his friends to see if they’ll help him.
“There’s Two-Bit Rick Scott, Scott “Sodapop” Walker, and Carly ‘Pony-face’ Fiorina and they all have said they’ll be there for the rumble,” the Cruz aide told us, “so we’re pretty confident that the Senator can come away victorious from this particular rumble.”
Mr. Trump told reporters in upstate New York that while he wouldn’t reveal his specific strategy for winning the rumble, he could speak in general terms about it.
“It’s really going to be so easy, so very easy, to beat Teddy,” Trump said with a grin, “because I literally win every contest I enter. I once entered a potato sack race and not only won it, I had time to go back to the starting line, get in another potato sack with someone else, and still win second place. Then I went and got into a third sack, and guess what? I took third place over all the other yooge losers who hadn’t finished yet. Did I mention that this was a Special Olympics fundraiser, by the way? I beat those disabled kids so badly, but hey, that’s what happens sometimes, know what I mean?”
Susan Hinton, noted political rumble historian, told us via email that in her estimation this would be “only the third such rumble” in American history. The first rumble between candidates, Hinton told us, was between Chester A. Arthur and James A. Garfield in the 19th century, just days before their party’s convention. Then in 1968 Richard Nixon and future president Ronald Reagan held a similar, off the record rumble to determine which of them should be the GOP’s nominee that year.
Trump is still widely considered the odds-on favorite to win the Republican nomination via delegate counts in primary elections, but the party establishment is openly planning for a brokered convention, on the hopes that Cruz or even Ohio Governor John Kasich can still keep him from reaching that all-important delegate count threshold.