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Story highlights

Donald Trump is launching an offensive against Ted Cruz in South Carolina

A new ad calls Cruz the "worst kind of Washington insider"

(CNN) —  

Donald Trump is launching an offensive against Ted Cruz in South Carolina, calling him the “worst kind of Washington insider” in a wide-ranging attack ad that paints him as dishonest, unsavory and inconsistent.

Cruz and Trump have both labored to position themselves as the race’s outsiders, a claim that Trump looks to rebut in the new South Carolina spot.

“What kind of man talks from both sides of his mouth on amnesty for illegals on national television – and still denies it?” a narrator says in the advertisement. “Who took more than a million dollars in sweetheart loans from Wall Street banks, and fails to disclose it as required by law? Who runs a campaign accused of dirty tricks, and tried to sabotage Ben Carson with false rumors?”

00:30 - Source: CNN
New Trump ad slams Cruz

Those claims by the Trump ad reference Cruz’s failure to not properly report loans he received during his 2012 Senate campaign and alleged misconduct by his campaign toward Carson on the night of the Iowa caucuses. Cruz has admitted he made mistakes on both charges.

“Ted Cruz – the worst kind of Washington insider, who just can’t be trusted,” the spot concludes.

The ad, captured by advertising tracker CMAG/Kantar Media, began airing in the Greenville, South Carolina, media market on Monday evening, the night before the New Hampshire primary.

Cruz and Trump are expected to compete for top billing in South Carolina, a state that Cruz’s campaign has identified as the rubber match between the two likely winners of the first two early voting states, Iowa and New Hampshire. Cruz beat Trump in Iowa, and Trump is expected to win in Tuesday’s Granite State contest.

South Carolina’s Republican primary is scheduled for February 20.