- A Ted Cruz campaign surrogate tied together Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton
- Steve Lonegan used a crude remark in describing the two candidates
Hours before polls close in Indiana on Tuesday -- a crucial test of whether Cruz can prevent Trump from picking up enough delegates to win the GOP nod -- a surrogate for the Texas senator crudely described his view of Trump's similarities to Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee.
"I don't believe the conservative base of this party is ready to throw everything over to Donald Trump. In essence, we're not going to nominate Hillary Clinton with a penis," Steve Lonegan, Cruz's New Jersey campaign director, told CNN's Kate Bolduan on "At This Hour."
He pointed out that Trump supported Democrat Jimmy Carter over Republican Ronald Reagan in the 1980 election and criticized the 40th president's foreign policy.
The statement by Lonegan continues -- more colorfully -- a line of attack by Cruz and his running-mate Carly Fiorina that Trump and Clinton are political twins.
The pair and their surrogates have ratcheted up those arguments in recent days as polls show Trump poised to deliver a potentially knockout win in Indiana. The Cruz campaign staked considerable political capital on the Hoosier State as the delegate math grew increasingly unfavorable.
Lonegan, known for his outspoken manner, is a former mayor of Bogota, in Bergen County, who has run for governor, Congress and other offices.