On the eve of the Iowa Caucus, Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz tries to stay above the fray but his supporters strike back against attacks from rival Donald Trump. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) A day ahead of the Iowa Caucus, the first real test for candidates in the U.S. presidential election cycle, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz trailed Donald Trump by a small margin, even as the two candidates continued to toss brickbats at one another. The influential Des Moines Register / Bloomberg Politics Iowa poll released on Saturday (January 30) showed Trump receiving 28 percent of the support of likely Iowa caucus-goers and Cruz 23 percent. Ten Republicans and three Democrats are campaigning in Iowa for their parties' nominations, but much of the focus has been on the fight between Cruz and Trump and their uneasy relationship with the Republican establishment. At a campaign appearance in Iowa City, Cruz stuck to his routine campaign speech and did not respond publicly to Trump's comments on the Sunday morning talk programs, in which Trump called Cruz a "liar" and continued to raise questions on whether the Texas senator's birth in Canada would render him ineligible for the U.S. presidency. Supporters of Cruz, who packed an county fair exhibit hall, said they were tired of Trump's bombastic tone and his derision of Cruz. "Calling people names is ridiculous," said Mike Tyson, a Cruz supporter who attended the rally. "Talking about how they look, whether they are fat or not, that has nothing to do with leadership. What Cruz is doing in trying to maintain a level of professionalism and act like a statesman, not like some thug out of a New York City school." Cruz urged his supporters to get out to the caucus locations, reminding them of the influence the caucus can have on the presidential campaign. "The stakes are too high," he told the crowd. "We can't roll the dice. Literally, millions of Americans are counting on the men and women gather here today: to look every candidate in the eyes, to vet us, to say 'don't listen to what we say, look at how we walk.'" He said it was up to caucus voters to pull Americans "back from the abyss," a not-too-veiled reference by Cruz to the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama.