Donald Trump responded on Wednesday to Ted Cruz's claim that he "embodies New York values", saying that those values are the "energy" that helped the city recover from the attacks of Sept. 11th, 2001.
"One thing it means is energy," Trump told New England radio host Howie Carr. "You know, when the World Trade Center got hit, we rebuilt that World Trade Center and we got through and very few places in this world could have gotten through what we went through. I mean, I was so proud of New York, the World Trade Center, these two massive, 110 story buildings come down, thousands of people killed. I've never seen anything like it in my life."
Cruz suggested on Tuesday that Trump, who has recently questioned Cruz's eligibility for the presidency, might start playing the Frank Sinatra song "New York, New York", instead of "Born in the U.S.A., saying "Donald comes from New York and he embodies New York values."
Asked by Megyn Kelly on Tuesday night what he meant by "New York values," Cruz said, "The rest of the country knows what New York values are, and they aren't Iowa values and they aren't New Hampshire values."
Pressed by Carr on whether Cruz was referring to his religious faith, Trump said, "I don't know what he's doing. I mean, honestly, he's very nervous. He's, you know, very frightened by what's happening."
Trump went on to say that he thought Democrats would "bring lawsuit" against Cruz to test whether he qualifies under the Constitution's "natural-born" citizenship clause.
In the interview, Trump also commented on South Carolina governor Nikki Haley's response to the State of the Union address. Haley said on Wednesday that Trump was one of the people she had been talking about when she called on Americans to resist "the siren call of the angriest voices."
Trump said, "I mean, you do have anger and you have unbelievable people that are angry. You have good people. You have kind people — kind-hearted people — that are angry. And who wouldn't be? I mean, if you're intelligent you have to be angry at the way the country is run."
He also called Haley "weak on immigration."
"She's weak on immigration," the businessman said. "She's very weak on immigration. And she knows I feel that way. And I feel that, you know, I'm not happy with her for that. We have to have very strong borders. She's weak on the border. She's very, very weak on illegal immigration."
Christopher Massie is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Christopher Massie at Christopher.Massie@buzzfeed.com.
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