By Caroline Kenny
AMES, Iowa–At a Cruzin’ to Caucus rally here today, supporters of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz openly rejected the platform of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and what Cruz mockingly calls his rival’s “New York values.”
Cruz and Trump have been running neck and neck for weeks. A Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll released Saturday night showed Trump leading, 28 percent to 23 percent, with two days to go until the first in the nation Iowa caucuses.
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The poll before did have some good news for Cruz: he is more liked and respected than Trump, a sentiment his supporters seconded at Cruz’s rally in Ames, home of Iowa State University.
“Ted is a ‘we’ person, Donald is an ‘I’ person,” said Jim Ingebrigtsen, a Cruz supporter who decked out his truck with Cruz signs and plans to travel around Iowa all weekend, right behind the candidate’s bus.
Others said Trump’s ideas were simply unrealistic. By contrast, they believe Cruz is a man of his word. They are confident that he would dedicate his presidency to upholding his promises on social issues, tax policy and national security alike.
Many members of the audience dismissed a Trump rally last week in the name of military veterans as nothing but a show. The Trump campaign put together the Des Moines event after the New York real estate developer and reality TV personality backed out of a Republican debate because of a dispute with Fox News.
After his speech, Cruz told Medill Reports that he is the only candidate who has what it takes to reform the Veterans Administration on his very first day in office.
Cruz will continue his Cruzin’ to Caucus tour, winding up in Des Moines on Monday night to monitor caucus results with supporters.