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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Ted Cruz in the spotlight as Republicans take the debate stage



After a slow campaign start, GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz enters tonight's debate in a new position: firmly in the spotlight... and with a target on his back.

A report from our friends at the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON - Texas Sen. Ted Cruz enters Tuesday's Republican presidential debate with a burst of momentum, a robust campaign infrastructure, and a target on his back.

It's a shift for Cruz, whose campaign got off to a low-key start. Now, he's challenging Donald Trump for the lead in the kickoff Iowa caucus and casting himself as a more electable alternative who still shares the bombastic billionaire's anti-Washington appeal.

Trump and Cruz have been friendly on the campaign trail for months. But signs of a split have emerged in recent days, with Cruz appearing to question Trump's judgment at a private fundraiser, according to audio obtained by the New York Times, and Trump calling Cruz "a little bit of a maniac."

"Looks like @tedcruz is getting ready to attack," Trump wrote on Twitter last week. "I am leading by so much he must. I hope so, he will fall like all others. Will be easy!"

Read more here

[Last modified: Tuesday, December 15, 2015 2:26pm]


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