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Trump and Cruz go to war over 'New York values' ahead of key primary

On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders has won the Wyoming caucuses.

GOP HOPEFUL DONALD Trump has paid his first visit to the September 11 Memorial Museum, using the opportunity to roundly criticise rival conservative Ted Cruz just days before a key New York primary election.

Trump and his wife Melania toured the museum yesterday with president and CEO Joe Daniels, as well as New York Police Department and Port Authority Police Department officials, according to his campaign.

The couple “were incredibly impressed with the museum, a monument representative of all of the wonderful people who tragically lost their lives and the families who have suffered so greatly,” a campaign statement read.

GOP 2016 Cruz Associated Press Associated Press

Asked why he made a reported $100,000 donation to the museum, Trump later said “I just felt like doing it,” adding he was also motivated by Cruz’s dismissive talk of “New York values.”

Texas Senator Cruz has used the term to suggest the billionaire New York real estate magnate was a liberal.

Trump told the Fox News show “Justice with Judge Jeanine” he was driven to make the large donation “because I heard him disparaging New York. And I just thought it would be the thing to do.”

CNN / YouTube

Cruz, who is trailing Trump in polls for the New York primary, “has hatred for New York,” Trump said.

And you could see it the way he expressed, and it was not the fact that he talked about New York values, it was the way he said it. The tone and the expression. And I just don’t think that New Yorkers are going to fall for it.

The Texas senator first used the term “New York values” in an interview with a Boston radio station in January, and has used it again and again on the campaign trail in recent months.

The phrase appears to be doing the conservative no favours in the Empire State: a recent poll showed Trump had a commanding 34 point lead – taking 56% of the vote, ahead of Cruz on 22% and Kasich on 17%.

Bernie 2016 / YouTube

In the Democratic contest, Bernie Sanders extended his winning streak in his bid to pull off a shock and defeat Hillary Clinton, grabbing victory in the Wyoming caucuses yesterday.

The state – which is overwhelmingly Republican – only awards 14 delegates, meaning Sanders barely puts a dent in Clinton’s more than 200-delegate lead.

But it gives the self-described democratic socialist another morale boost, ahead of the crucial New York primary on 19 April.

© – AFP, 2016 with reporting by Daragh Brophy. 

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