BETHPAGE, N.Y. (UPI) — Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, speaking on his home turf on Long Island, hit his rival Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for disparaging remarks he made in a debate about “New York values.”

Trump, speaking before an estimated 10,000 people in an airplane hangar in Bethpage, N.Y., used the rally to attack Cruz, who, in a previous Republican presidential debate, had besmirched Trump for his “New York values.”

“And I’ve got this guy [Cruz] … looking at me, talking about ‘New York values’, with scorn on his face, with hatred, with hatred of New York,” Trump said.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., one of the state’s most prominent Republicans, said anyone who lives in New York and is considering voting for Cruz “should have his head examined.”

“Any New Yorker who even thinks of voting for Ted Cruz should have their head examined,” he said during a radio interview. “Here’s a guy who refused to sign on to the 9/11 healthcare act for the cops and firemen. Here’s a guy who talks about ‘New York values.'”

“New York keeps going forward and we’re tough,” King continued. “To have some guy like Ted Cruz, who has cowboy boots, walking around criticizing us. Listen, I hope he gets the cold shoulder and other things from every New Yorker, send him back where he belongs. He’s a phony.”

In what can only be described as an understatement, King concluded: “Cruz is a guy I really don’t like.”

New York’s primary is April 19 and polls show Trump, a Manhattan real estate developer, with a sizable lead in the GOP race. The most recent on, a Monmouth University poll of 302 New Yorkers likely to vote in the primary, showing Trump leading with 52 percent of the vote, compared to 25 percent for John Kasich and 17 percent for Cruz.

Also at Thursday’s rally, Trump urged supporters not to physically confront protesters after receiving criticism in the past for appearing to condone using violence to remove protesters.

Trump deployed his usual refrain when protesters turn up at his rallies, saying, “Get ’em out of here!”

Then immediately after that, Trump cautioned the crowd, repeating “don’t hurt the person” several times, as the protester, wearing a red, white and blue cowboy hat, was removed from the event.

ABC-NY reports two individuals were arrested at the rally. Police did not say whether they were Trump supporters or two of the hundreds of protesters outside the venue who chanted anti-Trump slogans and engaged in shouting matches with his supporters.

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