Donald Trump reacted to Rafael Cruz issuing an election battle cry in Indiana when he called on Christians to do right by God and vote for his son, Sen. Ted Cruz, to be the Republican presidential nominee.
The elder Cruz, who is a minister, made the appeal in a speech to pastors in Indianapolis last week.
Trump, who has a sizeable lead in the GOP race, angrily slammed the candidate’s father on Tuesday, saying Papa Cruz had hit a new low in attempting to win votes in the crucial Indiana primary.
“I think it’s a disgrace that he’s allowed to do it. I think it’s a disgrace that he’s allowed to say it,” Trump said during a telephone interview on "Fox and Friends."
The controversy erupted after a video of the speech surfaced on Facebook and made the social media rounds.
Indiana has a large population of evangelical voters, which the Ted Cruz campaign has considered an important base of supporters for the Texan lawmaker.
Trump, however, noted that he’s got faith leaders behind him, and mentioned Jerry Falwell Jr.
"It's disgraceful that his father can go out and do that, and so many people are angry about it,” Trump said. “The evangelicals are angry about it, the way he does that."
In the video of the speech aired by Fox, Rafael Cruz said, “I implore, I exhort every member of the body of Christ to vote according to the word of God and vote for the candidate that stands on the word of God and on the Constitution of the United States of America.”
“And I am convinced that man is my son, Ted Cruz. The alternative could be the destruction of America," the father said.
Then – in a swipe that could be seen as characteristic of the nomination battle between the two leading Republicans – Trump brought up a tabloid article that alleged a link between Rafael Cruz and Lee Harvey Oswald, President John F. Kennedy’s assassin.
"His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald being shot, I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous," Trump said. "Nobody even brings it up. They don't even talk about that."
"What was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the shooting?" he asked.
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