Trump campaign faces backlash as Cruz wins key endorsement

AP photos of Trump_Cruz_202855

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) – Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is rushing to defend one of its own after police in Florida charged a staffer with misdemeanor battery.

Corey Lewandowski is facing one charge of misdemeanor battery after a scuffle involving a Breitbart news reporter during a Trump campaign rally on March 8. Lewandowski was later accused by several members of the press for hostile tactics toward reporters covering the campaign.

Within minutes of the news of the charges breaking, the Trump campaign rushed to defend its top strategist:

“Mr. Lewandowski is absolutely innocent of this charge,” Trump said in a statement. “He will enter a plea of not guilty and looks forward to his day in court. He is completely confident that he will be exonerated,” said the Trump campaign in a statement released on Tuesday.

The reporter at the center of the controversy, who has left her job at Breitbart since the incident, fought back against the Trump campaign narrative of events via Twitter:

The two remaining Republican candidates released statements by Tuesday afternoon urging the Trump campaign to sever ties with Lewandowski.

“Unfortunately, this abusive behavior seems to be part of the culture of the Trump campaign. Personal attacks, verbal attacks, and now physical attacks have no place in politics or anywhere else in society,” said the Sen. Ted Cruz campaign in a statement.

Cruz bets big on Wisconsin

Donald Trump’s closest rival, Sen. Cruz of Texas, received a major endorsement Tuesday morning from Wisconsin’s governor. During a radio call in show, Gov. Scott Walker formally endorsed Sen. Cruz a week out from the state’s Republican primary.

The latest polls show an increasingly close race in Wisconsin. A recent survey of 500 likely voters in Wisconsin provided proof the state could be one of the closest contests in recent weeks.

GOP Wisconsin Primary Poll

Free Beacon (March 19 – March 20)

Cruz: 36%

Trump: 31%

Kasich: 21%

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