Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) criticized rival Donald Trump for asking his supporters to “pledge loyalty to him like subjects to a king.”
“Anyone who thinks you’re making a loyalty oath to some candidate fundamentally misunderstands this process,” Cruz said during remarks to reporters prior to his campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, Tuesday. “Listen, no political candidate is going to make America great again. It’s not going to be Donald Trump, it’s not going to be me. It’s not going to be any candidate. The only power strong enough to restore this nation is We the People. It’s not about us, it’s about the people.”
Donald Trump makes members of his Orlando crowd raise their right hands and swear to vote in the primary. pic.twitter.com/EVenRilJrV
— Jenna Johnson (@wpjenna) March 5, 2016
“The idea that you would take this loyalty oath, you know what? I raise my hand and I take an oath to you, to the people,” Cruz said. “That’s who’s working for whom. The idea that a candidate running for office wants the people to pledge loyalty to him like subjects to a king, well we’ve had seven years of a president who thinks he’s an emperor. And I’ve got to say the only hand-raising I’m interested in is on Jan. 20, 2017, when I hope to raise my right hand and have my left hand sitting on the Bible when I make a promise, a pledge to every American to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Trump recently came under fire for asking his supporters to raise their right hands and pledge to vote for him at a rally Saturday. Some social media users characterized the ensuing images as similar to a Nazi salute, and the words “Heil Trump” trended on Twitter.
During an interview on NBC’s “Today” on Tuesday, Trump called the comparison “ridiculous.”
“If it’s offensive, if there’s anything wrong with it, I wouldn’t do it,” Trump said.