FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Donald Trump returned to one of his favorite subjects, the Canadian birth of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), at an afternoon rally inside the city’s largest sports arena. His cue came from the senator’s wife, Heidi, who tripped over a word at a Saturday GOP presidential campaign rally and appeared to say that her husband was an immigrant.
“Heidi Cruz — nice woman,” Trump began. “She said this one: ‘My husband’s an immigrant!’ He’s an immigrant! That’s what I’ve been trying to say!’ ”
The line got laughs, and Trump seemed to find voters in the crowd who knew what he was talking about. On Saturday, while covering Heidi Cruz’s campaign stops around Indiana, Washington Examiner reporter Byron York heard a hiccup in her patter about her husband’s appeal.
“Do you know that Ted has been winning the millennial vote in state after state?” Heidi Cruz said. “He’s been winning the women’s vote in state after state. Ted is an immigrant. He is Hispanic. He can unify this party.”
The Cruz campaign quickly clarified that Heidi Cruz meant to say that her husband’s father is an immigrant, a point Ted Cruz often makes when asked how he can win Latino votes. But Trump preferred the uncorrected version.
“She was maybe trying to put a Latin turn on it,” Trump said. “He was born in Canada, folks!”
The last time Trump pulled Heidi Cruz into his campaign monologue, he came to regret it. He began his campaign for Wisconsin’s primary by tweeting a vague threat to “spill the beans” on Heidi Cruz, then retweeting a meme that compared her looks negatively to those of Trump’s wife, Melania. It backfired badly, and in Fort Wayne, Trump tried to be both arch and complimentary about his misuse of her words.
“We don’t want to get her in trouble, so let’s not use that, right?” he joked.