Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz defended his family values Monday while promoting his electability during a Madison town hall moderated by Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.
The Texas senator also went after front-runner Donald Trump over the businessman’s comments about Cruz’s marriage. Trump recently threatened to “spill the beans” on Cruz’s wife, Heidi.
Cruz also denied accusations from the National Enquirer he has been unfaithful multiple times.
“Not much pisses me off,” he said, “but if you attack my wife and kids, that does.”
The presidential hopeful fielded from pre-selected audience members questions on abortion, the Affordable Care Act, the national debt and unifying the Republican Party.
And he hit Trump over his former position that if abortions were banned, women who receive the procedure should be punished. Trump took the stance last week during a campaign stop in Green Bay before revising his position days later.
Cruz called the stance “bizarre” and said he agrees with Fox News contributor Marc Thiessen’s comments that Trump sounded like a liberal telling conservatives what he thinks they want to hear.
And the senator simply dismissed his other Republican opponent, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, as unelectable, noting Kasich’s only primary victory was in his home state.
“Great job, senator,” one audience member called during a scheduled break after Cruz’s comments on religious freedom in America drew applause from the crowd.
Cruz told reporters before the event he’s confident he would win the nomination even if it comes down to a contested convention. He said the idea that a “white knight” would come into a contested convention and “save the Washington establishment” was “a fevered pipe dream.”
“If it did, people would quite rightly revolt,” Cruz said.
Cruz's comments came amid continued speculation that House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, could be tapped by delegates as the party nominee in a contested convention.
Cruz recently won primaries in Colorado and North Dakota. The latest Marquette University Law School Poll, released last week, showed him 10 points ahead of Trump in Wisconsin.
Cruz also pointed to the fact that five of the 17 candidates who ran for the Republican nomination, including Gov. Scott Walker, now support his campaign. Walker joined Cruz on stage, saying he is the only candidate who could win the nomination and the general election.
An audience member shouted that Walker and Cruz looked like a good presidential ticket.
Utah Sen. Mike Lee and former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, who have endorsed Cruz, also took the stage.
“I believe tomorrow night, we’re gonna have a terrific victory in Wisconsin,” Cruz said.