With a friendly slap on the back, GOP front-runner Donald Trump diffused his recent attacks on his closest rival, Sen. Ted Cruz, but also sought to demonstrate dominance over him.

During CNN's GOP debate on Tuesday, Trump was asked about his comment last week that Cruz lacks the appropriate "temperament" to be president, and accused Cruz of acting like a "maniac" in the Senate.

Panelist Dana Bash asked Trump about possibly picking Cruz as a running mate, should he win the nomination. (Trump has not named any possible running mates but he has said he likes Cruz). "So, why would you be willing to put someone who's a 'maniac' one heart beat away from the presidency?" Bash asked.

Trump ignored this chance to attack Cruz and instead implicitly claimed dominance over him by passing judgment on him. "Let me just tell you that I've gotten to know him over the last three or four days," said Trump, stepping over to Cruz and patting him on the back, adding, "He has a wonderful temperament, he's just fine."

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