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Cruz Claims Trump Supported Kerry Over Bush In ’04 — There’s Little Proof Of That

And some evidence to the contrary.

Posted on March 3, 2016, at 11:43 p.m. ET

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Ted Cruz in the debate on Thursday twice hit Donald Trump for supporting John Kerry in the 2004 election, and in one instance, specified that Trump had supported Kerry over George W. Bush.

Cruz said, "Donald Trump supported Jimmy Carter over Ronald Reagan. Donald supported John Kerry over George W. Bush. If you don't like Obamacare, Donald Trump funded Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi taking over Congress to pass Obamacare."

While Trump certainly had nice things to say about Kerry in 2004, he praised (and donated to) both candidates and publicly said he was undecided about the race. One biography of Trump says he supported Bush over Kerry.

Trump was also critical of both Kerry and Bush. He said the Iraq War was a mess for Bush, but also praised Bush for effectively spinning Kerry's war record as a negative.

Here's the evidence we collected of Trump's position on the 2004 presidential campaign:

In April 2004 on Howard Stern, Trump called Kerry a "friend," but said he hadn't made up his mind:

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"Let me just say, I haven’t made up my mind. Listen, Kerry’s a friend of mine. He’s a very good guy, he’s a very tough guy, and I think he’s gonna put up a great fight. He’s had a disadvantage, i guess, although I think Iraq could bring down Bush. But Bush, this is a terrible mistake what’s gone on in Iraq."

In August, he told Larry King that both were "good guys":

"I think it's going to be very close. I think it's going to be John Kerry against Bush. I know them both. They're both good guys and I think will be a close race."

On Sept. 9, he told Chris Matthews he was "one of the undecided"

"Well, I know them both and I like them both," he said. "I will tell you that I love Bush's tax policy, Chris. I really do. I think it is a good policy. And I really like it. I think it is good in terms of development and economic development and everything else. But I hate the war in Iraq. Now, on the other hand, Kerry has really not done such a good job in terms of tax policy as far as I'm concerned. So I'm very torn. I haven't made up my mind yet. I am one of the undecided."

On Sept. 28, he told Bill O'Reilly Bush had done "an amazing job in terms of spin" and predicted that Bush would win:

"Well, I think Bush has done an amazing job in terms of spin, in terms of a lot of other things. If you look at what's happened with Kerry, it's almost like he was a terrible war person, and Bush is a great war hero," Trump said. "So I think that the job that Bush has done has been pretty effective thus far."

He later added, "Well, I would say you have to bet right now on Bush, certainly."

In a 2007 Trump biography by Robert Slater, which is sold at Trump Tower, it says he supported Bush:

The books reads, "Trump notes that while he supported President George Bush for re-election, he felt that a President-elect John Kerry would have asked Trump to become involved in a Kerry administration. As Trump tells it, Kerry spoke to Trump admiringly of his negotiating skills, and raised the prospect that he might appoint him as his Middle East representative. 'You know how to negotiate. You'd be the best person to settle the Arab-Israeli conflict,' Kerry told Trump, according to Donald Trump. Thinking about the prospect of becoming the American Middle East envoy, Trump then volunteered, 'It would take me two weeks to get an agreement.' Of course, Kerry's loss on November 2, 2004, precluded Trump's appointment."

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