Battle brewing between Ted Cruz, Donald Trump

635854235716047363-AP-GOP-2016-IranDonald Trump and Ted Cruz greet each other on stage during a rally on Capitol Hill on Sept. 9, 2015. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster, AP)

Donald Trump has harshly attacked every Republican opponent who has gotten close to him — is Ted Cruz next?

Trump served notice on Cruz via Twitter on Friday, responding to a New York Times story about a private donor meeting in which the Texas senator questioned whether the billionaire businessman has the judgment to be president.

“Looks like @tedcruz is getting ready to attack,” Trump said. “I am leading by so much he must. I hope so, he will fall like all others. Will be easy!”

Cruz, meanwhile, tried to tamp down any discussion of a brewing spat between the two, tweeting later in the day: “The Establishment’s only hope: Trump & me in a cage match.” He added: “Sorry to disappoint — @realDonaldTrump is terrific.”

So far, in public, Cruz has been careful to express his respect for Trump, and Trump has reciprocated. That may be changing, especially now that Cruz has passed Trump in at least one poll in Iowa, which holds the first nomination contest of the Republican race on Feb. 1.

Trump, who has launched sustained attacks against challengers like Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz, also tweeted Friday: “@tedcruz should not make statements behind closed doors to his bosses, he should bring them out into the open — more fun that way!”

After the Times published its story, Cruz said he was talking to donors about how voters will have to make basic decisions about all the candidates.

“And ultimately the decision is, who has the right judgment and the right experience to serve as Commander in Chief?” the Texas senator said. “Every one of us who is running is being assessed by the voters under that metric, and that is exactly why we have a democratic election to make that determination.” Source