Cruz on Trump’s attacks on his wife: ‘Leave Heidi the hell alone’

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WASHINGTON (CNN) — An angry and emotional Ted Cruz on Thursday ripped into Donald Trump for his attacks on Cruz’s wife, Heidi, and declined to say whether he would support Trump if he’s the Republican presidential nominee.

“Donald, you’re a sniveling coward and leave Heidi the hell alone,” Cruz told reporters in Dane, Wisconsin.

Asked repeatedly if it was getting harder to support Trump, the GOP front-runner, if he were to become the nominee, a fired-up Cruz paused.

“I’m going to beat him,” Cruz responded. “Donald Trump will not be the nominee.”

Cruz has often said he would back Trump if he won the nomination because he pledged he would do so at the outset of the Republican race.

Trump inserted Heidi Cruz into the race when he tweeted Tuesday night that the Texas senator should “be careful” or he would “spill the beans on your wife,” a response to a Facebook advertisement targeted to Mormons that shows Trump’s wife, Melania, posing nude. That ad was produced by an anti-Trump super PAC, Make America Awesome, which has no known connection to the Cruz campaign.

Trump then followed that up with a retweet seemingly digging at Heidi Cruz’s physical appearance.