It was the night Donald Trump broke his enemies.
The mogul notched an easy win in Indiana’s crucial primary, crushing top rival Ted Cruz and catapulting himself within reach of the Republican presidential nomination. The anti-Trump movement within the Republican Party appeared toothless in its effort to stop him, and the harder Cruz flailed to wound his rival, the stronger Trump seemed to get.
Now, Cruz faces the prospect he dreaded most: watching mainstream Republicans rally around Trump as their likely nominee while he increasingly becomes the gadfly who wouldn’t quit the race. Though he’s given no public signal that he plans to drop out, the pressure on him and his team has ramped up – with the focus on Indiana as a potentially decisive factor.
Cruz seemed to validate the stakes earlier in the day, hurling every slight in the book at Trump. He spent his morning skewering the New York billionaire -- “utterly amoral,” “a serial philanderer,” “a pathological liar” and even ridden with venereal disease.
But it wasn’t enough and it only served to underscore the political reality: Trump was about to deliver a crushing blow to his chance to become president.
“Ted Cruz is a desperate candidate trying to save his failing campaign,” Trump said in response to Cruz’s tirade. “Today’s ridiculous outburst only proves what I have been saying for a long time, that Ted Cruz does not have the temperament to be President of the United States.”