The spots, sponsored by Keep the Promise I as part of a $2.5 million television ad buy, will air Monday in Iowa and South Carolina, as Trump and Cruz remain locked in a tight race for the lead in Iowa.
The above ad, titled “Extreme,” skewers Trump’s past liberal views on abortion and highlights a 1999 interview in which the GOP front-runner said he would not ban partial birth abortion and that he was “pro-choice in every respect.”
“Donald Trump is not a conservative because he’s extreme on abortion,” the spot says.
The second ad, titled “I Like Ted Cruz,” features more recent audio from an introduction Trump gave for Cruz in 2014 at a Lincoln Day fundraising event in Palm Beach, Florida.
“Now, one of the reasons I like Ted Cruz so much is that he’s not controversial,” Trump said to laughs from the crowd. “But the truth is, he shouldn’t be controversial because what he’s doing is right, it’s common sense, it’s good government, it’s so many good things. He’s now a very popular and important figure. So with that, I would like to introduce a very special guy, Sen. Ted Cruz.”
Cruz himself took aim at Trump in another new ad, criticizing the real estate mogul’s support for eminent domain, the government’s right to take ownership of private property for public use. The ad quotes Trump saying, “I think eminent domain is wonderful,” and points to an incident in which he allegedly “colluded with Atlantic City insiders to bulldoze the home of an elderly widow for a limousine parking lot at his casino.”
Trump dismissed the accusation on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, calling Cruz’s ad “false advertising.”
“His ad is wrong because I never knocked down that house,” Trump said. “I wanted to get that house to build a major building that would have employed a tremendous numbers of people, but when the woman didn’t want to sell, ultimately I just said forget about it. So he’s got me bulldozing down a house, I never bulldozed it down, it’s false advertising.”
“Well, all right, the accusation was that that’s what you wanted to do,” host Chuck Todd told Trump, who shot back, “No, the accusation was that I did it, and I didn’t do it.”
Politifact rates Trump’s claim “half true”: The home of the widow, Vera Coking, was never destroyed as a result of eminent domain – but not for lack of Trump trying.
It took several years of failed negotiations and a lost lawsuit for Trump to decide he was “no longer interested buyer.”