Former Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas isn’t backing away from his sharp criticism of presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz.
In an interview Saturday on CNN, Dole said he doesn’t think Cruz is really a Republican.
“He’s a conservative extremist,” the one-time presidential candidate said. “He doesn’t get along with anybody in the Senate … I don’t believe the people in Iowa, the caucus-goers, are extreme conservatives.”
Cruz begins a week-long push in Iowa Saturday. Donald Trump, who is running slightly ahead of Cruz in most Iowa polls, will also campaign in Iowa Saturday.
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Dole said he supports Jeb Bush, but “if it comes down to Cruz and Trump, I’m a big Trump supporter.”
Trump, Dole said, would be able to compromise with Congress.
Dole’s support of the New York businessman puts him at odds with almost two dozen Republican writers and columnists, who blasted Trump in the National Review this week.
The Des Moines Register is expected to announce its endorsements in the caucuses late Saturday. In past caucuses, the endorsements have been considered important.
In the current environment, a mainstream media endorsement may have less impact.