Sen. Ted Cruz borrowed from the movie "The American President" to defend his wife from Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump Wednesday morning.
Trump tweeted a threat Tuesday night to "spill the beans" about Cruz's wife, Heidi, apparently in response to an anti-Trump ad featuring a naked Melania Trump. The ad released earlier Tuesday by Make America Awesome, an outside group opposing Trump's candidacy, included a picture of his wife from a GQ shoot from more than a decade ago and the text, "Meet Melania Trump. Your next first lady. Or, you could support Ted Cruz on Tuesday."
Cruz denied any connection with the ad or Make America Awesome.
"If Donald wants to get in a character fight, he's better off sticking with me, because Heidi is way out of his league," Cruz said on CNN, stumbling a bit while referring to Trump as "her" in paraphrasing "The American President."
In the 1995 film's climactic scene, Michael Douglas' President Andrew Shepherd defends his lobbyist girlfriend Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Benning) against a rival for the Oval Office.
Trump tweeted this response to Cruz Wednesday morning: "Lyin' Ted Cruz denied that he had anything to do with the G.Q. model photo post of Melania. That's why we call him Lyin' Ted!"
"Most of the things Trump says have no basis in reality, so we are not worried," Heidi Cruz said Wednesday.
Heidi Cruz is an investment manager with Goldman Sachs. She is on leave of absence for her husband's campaign.
Earlier in the campaign, Cruz cracked up voters with a pretty good impersonation of Billy Crystal's Miracle Max from "The Princess Bride" for WMUR-TV's "Candidate Cafe" series.