Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos…Ted Cruz is accused of stealing a line from "The American President" when crafting a response to Donald Trump's attacks, which is actually a much more family-friendly movie than the other ones the 2016 candidates have seemed to be cribbing their dialogue from lately.
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'16 from 30,000
Another day, another round of insults between the two men duking it out for dominance in the race to the GOP nomination. Ted Cruz called Donald Trump a "sniveling coward" for retweeting an image with an unflattering photo of Cruz's wife, Heidi. And all this comes just one day after House Speaker Paul Ryan called for political debate about policy ideas rather than "a battle of insults." Sure, the war of words has been a made-for-cable story, but here's why this one could have important repercussions for the GOP: Trump has a very significant problem with female voters. In our latest NBC/WSJ poll, 70 percent of women(!) said they had a negative view of Trump, and nearly half of Republican women say they can't see themselves supporting him. (Compare that to only about three in ten GOP women who aren't quite on board with Cruz or Kasich.) These are just dismal numbers, and a traditional candidate would be trying to shore up his support with a voting bloc where he's dangerously weak. By going after women for their looks, Donald Trump seems to be doing exactly the opposite.
POPPING ON NBC POLITICS
- Ted Cruz called Trump a "sniveling coward" for retweeting an unflattering photo of his wife.
- Donald Trump may claim to "cherish" women, but they don't seem to like him all that much, one of us writes.
- Chelsea Clinton slammed the level of 'vitriol' between Cruz and Trump during a stop in Milwaukee, NBC's Kailani Koenig reports.
- Could 2016 be the year of the Libertarian? NBC's Leigh Ann Caldwell explores.
- And the #NeverTrump movement will be active in Wisconsin, where stopping the frontrunner will be critical, Caldwell reports.
- Ben Carson struggled to defend his Donald Trump endorsement during an appearance on ABC's "The View" on Thursday.
- When Clinton met Caitlyn: Despite Caitlyn Jenner's well-documented criticism of Hillary Clinton, a clip from her E! show "I Am Cait" reveals the transgender icon traded small talk and posed for a photo with the Democratic front-runner.
- And from First Read this AM: Why Trump can't afford to miss that 1,237 magic number.
FOR THE RECORD…
"He was my 15th choice. What can I say?"
Lindsey Graham talking about his Cruz endorsement on the Daily Show Wednesday night.
Bernie Sanders campaigns in Oregon and Washington.
Ted Cruz holds three events in Wisconsin.