Baker says Trump’s vulgarity shows why The Donald isn’t presidential

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BOSTON – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker reacted with disbelief on Tuesday when told Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump used a vulgarity to describe Ted Cruz, one of his chief rivals, at a New Hampshire rally Monday night.

On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, Trump was at a rally dinging Cruz, the U.S. senator from Texas who beat Trump in the Iowa caucuses last week, for his nuanced stance on waterboarding. A woman in the audience yelled an insult, making a vulgar reference to Cruz that Trump quickly picked up on and repeated from podium.

“You know what she said? Shout it out,” Trump told the woman.

In video of the event the woman’s reiteration is barely audible, and Trump, after lightly admonishing her, repeats it for the room full of supporters.

“That’s terrible,” Trump said of the term the woman had used, even though he had repeated it loudly to make sure all heard it. After the crowd broke into screams and chants, Trump reiterated, “That’s terrible” and playfully reprimanded the woman who used the term.

After leaving an event in Boston Tuesday morning, Baker was told by Boston Herald reporter Jordan Graham that Trump described Cruz with that term.

“Did he really? Did he really say that?” Baker said. “Look, I made very clear last week when I endorsed Governor Christie that part of the reason I endorsed him was that I didn’t think that Donald Trump had the temperament or the seriousness of purpose to be president of the United States, and that comment would certainly fit quite well in that particular category.”

Cruz responded to the insult while greeting patrons of the Red  Arrow Diner in Manchester, New Hampshire, Tuesday morning.

“Part of the reason that Donald engages in insults is because he can’t discuss the substance,” Cruz told reporters, according to the Associated Press. “He can’t defend his record. For example, a vote for Donald Trump is a vote for Obamacare.”

Trump has said that’s a “lie.” Cruz charges that Trump supports universal health care and that could lead to rationing.

“Donald can’t defend that. So instead, his approach is to engage in a profane insult,” Cruz said. “I’m not going to respond in kind.”

Late last week, Baker came off the sidelines to back New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the Republican presidential primary, and gave faint praise to Cruz, who he said is “an articulate and aggressive advocate for his points of view.”

Baker said of his Garden State counterpart that “he’s a Republican governor in a very blue state – something I’m pretty familiar with.”