For all his bluster about being a tough and strong leader, Donald Trump admitted to Howard Kurtz that criticisms from conservative talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin made him back off attacks on Ted Cruz.
As I was watching this segment unfold, I was taken aback by how Trump was gushing over Cruz and professing his love for the Texas Senator. It's been a tactic of Cruz to side with Trump's wild rhetoric so he could eventually turn Trump's supporters to his camp, but it was weird for Trump to go so far out of his way in his praise for Cruz on Fox News' Media Buzz.
Then I understood why.
Kurtz: But after the maniac comment, two powerful voices in radio, Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, generally been supportive of you...
Trump: Two great guys..
Kurtz: Yea, said, criticized you for taking on Cruz. Did that make you rethink it a little?
Trump: Well, I like those two people. They've been very supportive and it did. It made me think about it a little bit because Mark and Rush have been so nice to me and, and I did think about it a little bit.
Trump can say he's tough and he could beat up ISIS and Putin with one hand tied behind his back, but he better not anger conservative AM radio talk show hosts.
Wow, what an admission. Imagine, a few negative words from Limbaugh and Trump is planting wet kisses on Cruz.
This is a big opportunity for the Democratic presidential candidates to take advantage of when talking about the Republican frontrunner. They can confidently say that Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin are the real leaders of the Republican party and Trump will bow down to them like a petrified weakling instead of annoying the right wing paparazzi during a tough primary campaign.
If he's afraid to take on talk radio, then how can he defend America against the terrorists?
And Ted Cruz benefits mightily from this exchange since he really is the first choice for the Conservative movement.