As the make-or-break Super Tuesday draws near, the in-house fight between the Republican presidential candidates seems to be getting even more intense.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz recently went on an attack mode against GOP front-runner Donald Trump, who has become an apparent target after his blowout performance in Nevada, by suggesting the billionaire’s possible associations with mafia might weaken his chances in a general election.
Cruz was discussing how Trump hasn’t released his tax returns yet during a Sunday appearance on “Meet the Press” when he speculated the former reality TV star might be hiding a “bombshell.”
“Maybe it is the case that Donald – there have been multiple media reports about Donald's business dealings with the mob, with the mafia," the White House hopeful told Chuck Todd. “Maybe his taxes show those business dealings.”
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The Texas senator asserted that Trump seems terrified to release his taxes, and pointed to "multiple" news stories about the real-estate mogul's “dealings with, for example, S&A Construction, which was owned by 'Fat Tony' Salerno, who is a mobster who is in jail. It is owned by two of the major New York crime families.”
The business mogul reportedly used the mob-controlled concrete company to build Trump Plaza condos in Manhattan.
Cruz also referenced an ABC report from last year explaining Trump’s business dealings with Russian émigré Felix Sater, who was once an executive of a real estate company that worked with the Trump Organization. Sater later carried a Trump Organization business card with the title “Senior Advisor to Donald Trump.”
"Republican primary voters deserve to know before the nomination, not after," Cruz added. "Because you better believe Hillary Clinton and the media are going to go to town on it. And the primary voters should be able to vet all of us."
Trump, on the other hand, claimed he has been unable to release his tax returns because he is being audited.
“You can't tell anything from tax returns, because you take deductions, massive deductions and lots of other things,” he told CNN. “And you can't tell very much from a tax return. You really can't tell anything as to that.”
Since Super Tuesday primaries are sure to narrow the playing field, it is perhaps the best time for Republican presidential candidates to get rid of Donald Trump – although the polls still seem to be running in his favor.