According to Deadline Hollywood, a spokesperson for presidential candidate Donald Trump accused Sen. Ted Cruz, also a presidential candidate, of making a “death threat” against her candidate. The spokesperson, identified as Karen Giorno, the Southeast regional director for the Trump campaign, was referring to a recent appearance by Cruz on the late night Jimmy Kimmel show in which the senator joked about backing up his car if he saw Trump in his rear view mirror.

Cruz communications director Alice Stewart responded that, in effect, the Trump people should lighten up and that it was just a joke.

Trump has previously joked that he could shoot someone publicly on Fifth Avenue in New York City and not lose any support for his presidential run.

The exchange further illustrates the bitterly personal nature of the presidential contest between the two men, who had once taken great pains to praise one another when the Republican field consisted of 17 candidates. But, aside from Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Trump and Cruz are the last men standing for the race for the Republican nomination.

The race has become more acrimonious as a result of an anti-Trump super PAC publishing a semi-nude picture of Trump’s current wife, taken when she was modeling. Blaming Cruz, Trump issued a threat against Cruz’s wife and then tweeted a picture that displayed an unflattering picture of Ms.

Cruz next to a more sultry one of Ms. Trump. Then an article appeared in the National Enquirer accusing Cruz of having had multiple affairs. The article is widely thought to have been planted by the Trump campaign and has been refuted by multiple sources. Trump’s campaign manager has been charged with battery surrounding an incident with a female reporter at a Trump event.

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In the meantime, Trump has started to slip in the polls, especially among women voters. Cruz is now favored to win the Wisconsin Primary and may well deny Trump the nomination on the first ballot at the convention. Because of adroit maneuvering by Cruz operatives at state conventions that select the delegates, Cruz is favored to win the nomination on the second ballot.