The war of words between Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Donald Trump continued Wednesday, with both candidates trading charges and contemplating court action.
The Cruz campaign issued a statement in conjunction with a press conference in South Carolina, in which the Texas senator not only rebuffed Trump's demands to stop airing a television ad highlighting Trump's past support for abortion rights, but also promised to air the ad even more frequently.
Trump's campaign attorney Jeffery Goldman sent the Cruz campaign a letter on Feb. 15 demanding that the 30 second ad titled "Supreme Trust" be taken down. The Cruz campaign said Goldman's letter called the ad "defamatory," and that it "meets the definition of a libelous statement."
The Cruz campaign responded that the ad gives South Carolina voters "important and accurate information so that they can make an informed decision when they go to the polls."
The ad quotes from an Oct. 24, 1999 interview between Trump and "Meet the Press" host Tim Russert in which the candidate says he is "very pro-choice." In a press release Monday, Trump demanded the ad come down, or that he would consider taking Cruz to court over questions about the Texas senator's qualifications to run for the presidency.
In a statement, Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler "questioned the Trump campaign’s demand that the voters not be allowed to hear what Mr. Trump himself has said or know what Mr. Trump has done."
The Cruz campaign says it now has plans "to air the ad with greater frequency."
The Trump campaign released a statement in which the candidate said Cruz "is a liar and these ads and statements made by Cruz are clearly desperate moves by a guy who is tanking in the polls."
The most recent poll on the South Carolina primary from Monmouth University shows Trump leading the Republican field among likely voters with 35 percent. Cruz is in second place with 19 percent.
Trump reasserted that he is "pro-life and I do not support taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood as long as they are performing abortions."
Regarding his threatened lawsuit, Trump said: "If I want to bring a lawsuit it would be legitimate."
"Likewise," he added, "if I want to bring the lawsuit regarding Senator Cruz being a natural born Canadian I will do so. Time will tell, Teddy."
South Carolina voters head to the polls Feb. 20.