DELANO, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Tensions seem to be mounting between the presidential campaigns of Donald J. Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who bested Trump in the Iowa Republican caucus earlier this week.
Since it was announced that Cruz was the winner, Trump has accused Cruz of “stealing” Iowa from him. Many on the right have even chastised Trump, admonishing him to take his lumps and move onto New Hampshire, where polling shows he has a good sized lead on Cruz. Trump, in the Granite State, however, showed no signs of letting up on Cruz, and even seemed to pull an earlier page from his campaign playbook, hitting on anti-immigrant sentiment among the GOP base.
“Ted stole Iowa, you know, like Mexicans do,” Trump said at a rally held at a used car dealership in New Hampshire. His crowd erupted in cheers, though many would say later they weren’t too sure if they’d ever met a person of Hispanic or Latino descent before.
Trump continued, “There’s no doubt in my mind Ted’s a yooge loser, and a yooge thief, and he stole Iowa from me. You know he stole it from me. Do you know how I know he stole it from me?”
The mogul then began telling the crowd a story about a housekeeper he employed at one time. “We had this maid once, Lupe. And she was from Mexico. I loved Lupe from Mexico,” Trump told the crowd, “but one day we came home and my second wife at the time was missing an earring. We had to fire Lupe because we knew she stole it because when Mexico sends us their people, they send rapists, thieves and drug dealers.”
Trump said that while he and his now ex-wife eventually recovered the earring when the restaurant they had been dining in that night called to say they found it, they knew “Lupe must’ve used her Mexican voodoo” to “teleport the earring to the restaurant.” Mr. Trump said “the same kind of logic applies to Ted Cruz” and then he walked over to a big easel and drew a stick figure with a sombrero on it, wring “Ted Cruz” above the figure, and then writing “Mexican = Thief.”
Later, reporters hounded Trump for his comments. One reporter asked Trump if he was aware that Cruz, while having Latino or Hispanic heritage, was not in fact “a Mexican,” as Trump said, but rather a Canadian Cuban whose mother was an American, and Trump gave a long pause before answering.
“Mexico, Cuba, whatever,” Trump said, “That’s a difference with only the distinction of longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates. Duh.”
The New Hampshire primary will be held on February 9th, 2016. Trump currently enjoys a lead, but it has been shortening as of late.