Top conservative radio talker Rush Limbaugh
says Donald Trump made a "strategic error" by calling Ted Cruz "nasty" and that the billionaire’s use of liberal-language attacks should be a "red flag" to conservatives.
Limbaugh told his radio audience Monday that "I think Trump is making a strategic error in the way he criticizes Cruz."
"I think Trump going after Cruz is quite normal; it's understandable," he continued.
"But I think he's making a tactical error the way he's doing it. Whatever you want to say, Cruz is not a nasty guy.
"When you get into criticism, it better be believable. But Trump is looking at Cruz, and I'm sure is hearing about the negatives that Cruz has, and I'm not gonna sit here and pretend to you that they don't exist.
"Heck, folks, even in my own circle of friends there are people that don't like Cruz or Bush or Rubio. It runs the gamut."
Limbaugh warned in December that Trump was using "left-wing, liberal language" in attacking Cruz when he went after him for opposing ethanol subsidies.
Limbaugh says he is not surprised by Trump’s decision to stop his friendship with Cruz.
"That all changed when Cruz takes the lead in Iowa, and Trump doesn't want to lose Iowa," Limbaugh said. "And this is the way Trump goes after everybody. It shouldn't be a surprise here."
Limbaugh implied that Trump’s attacks should be a warning sign to conservatives.
"Whenever a Republican or conservative attacks a fellow Republican or conservative using the same language or the same approach that Democrats and liberals would, that's a huge red flag," he said.
Limbaugh's admonition comes on the heels of another conservative commentator's warning to Trump.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, talk-show host Mark Levin
told Trump to "cut the crap" or risk losing conservative voters.
"Either cut the crap — your accusations this morning that Cruz is Canadian, a criminal, owned by big banks, etc. … — or you will lose lots and lots of conservatives," Levin said on Facebook. "Save the liberal New York City bully tactics for the New York City liberals.
"Put down your computer keyboard for a few hours, think before you tweet, and collect yourself. You're not politically invincible, regardless of the polls and media.
"I am already hearing more and more people getting fed up with the low road you're taking against Cruz, which has obviously intensified this morning," Levin said. "You don't need to attack his honor or attempt to smear his reputation. You can leave that to Mitch McConnell and The New York Times."
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