Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are best of frenemies

December 12, 2015
Republican U.S. presidential candidates (L-R) U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, businessman Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson talk during a commercial break in the midst of the second official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, United States, September 16, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RTS1HTQ

Republican presidential candidates Senator Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson talk during a commercial break in the midst of the second official Republican presidential debate at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, September 16, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson – RTS1HTQ

Donald Trump might be ready for that cage match with Ted Cruz after all.

The billionaire threw jabs at Cruz over ethanol during a campaign appearance on Friday in Des Moines, Iowa. The ethanol lobby in that corn-producing state has criticized Cruz for opposing subsidies for the industry, which are popular in Iowa.

“With the ethanol, really, he’s got to come a long way,” Trump said of Cruz. “But I understand it, oil pays him a lot of money. He’s got to be for oil, right?”

Later, in response to a question from an audience member about ethanol, Trump repeated his charge.

“He’s from Texas, to the best of my knowledge there’s a lot of oil in Texas,” Trump said, adding that he supports ethanol. “I said to myself, if Ted Cruz is against ethanol, how does he win in Iowa?”

Cruz’s campaign recently told the Des Moines Register the senator opposed all energy-specific subsidies, not just ethanol. Trump seemed not to want to be too hard on Cruz. Asked later in the event if he would consider making Cruz his vice presidential pick or, if he won the White House, naming the Texan to the U.S. Supreme Court, Trump hinted at plans for Cruz.

“I really do, I like Ted Cruz a lot,” Trump said. “I would say that we would certainly have things in mind for Ted, to be honest with you.”

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