COLUMBUS — Donald Trump is a flawed candidate whose nomination would be a disaster and guarantee a presidential win for Democrats, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said Sunday in Columbus, his first appearance in Ohio two days ahead of the Republican primary here.

The latest polls show Cruz rising in Ohio. A CBS news poll Sunday put him in third place with 27 percent, behind Trump and Gov. John Kasich each tied with 33 percent.

He touted the nine states in which he’s beaten Trump, including Wyoming where he won with 66 percent of the primary vote on Saturday.

“Only two candidates have a path forward to win the nomination,” Trump and Cruz, he said. “Our campaign is the only campaign that has demonstrated we can beat Donald over and over and over again.”

Unlike Marco Rubio, who has encouraged his supporters in Ohio to vote for Kasich in order to block Trump from a winner take all victory here, Cruz said the path to blocking Trump is by beating him.

“John Kasich is a good man. Marco Rubio is a good man,” he said. “But none of them has any viable path to beating Donald Trump.”

Cruz said this election is about jobs, freedom and security.

He got big cheers when he vowed to repeal Obamacare, get government regulations off the backs of American workers and business owners, establish a simple flat tax and abolish the IRS.

But the packed crowd at Northland Performing Arts Center became even more animated when Cruz turned his attention to his support of constitutional freedoms.

Trump is willing to compromise on religious freedom and the second amendment, he said, but Cruz will not.

He vowed to appoint constitutional conservatives to the Supreme Court, something supports said they are very concerned about.

“If another liberal is put on the Supreme Court, I’m afraid we’re going to lose our second amendment,” Denise Reier of Hamilton said.

“He’s the only one that has been to Washington, that has fought the establishment,” she said.

For Chad Nafziger of Indian Lake the most important promise Cruz made is repealing Obamacare.

“We feel that we’ve been betrayed by Gov. Kasich here in Ohio on that specific issue,” he said. “There’s a lot of people here that wanted to come out tonight and show that we don’t support John Kasich, we support Ted Cruz.”

On security, Cruz said he wants to restore spending to the military and take on threats from fundamentalist Islamic terrorists, including ISIS, with strength.

“We will use overwhelming force, kill the enemy an then get the heck out,” he said.


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