At one point, Trump himself noted that his competitors were stealing his bits. Ben Carson, desperate to counter the perception that he was unprepared on foreign policy, announced part of his strategy to combat the Islamic State. “We have to take their oil, shut down all of the mechanisms whereby they can disperse money,” Carson said, “because they go after disaffected individuals from all over the place, and they’re able to pay them.”
Trump, unsurprisingly, couldn’t hold his tongue. “I’ve been talking about oil for three years,” he said. “I’ve been saying, ‘Take the oil, take the oil.’ I didn’t say, ‘Just bomb it,’ I said, ‘Take it and use it.'”
You know who did just say “bomb it?” Cruz, whose hawkishness clearly mirrored the man in whose shadow he’s happy to stand. He explained that his plan against the Islamic State was to “[use] overwhelming air power to utterly and completely destroy” the group.
Cruz had by far and away the most explicit rip-off of Trump on a related topic: immigration. Explaining that securing the border was critical to stopping terrorists, Cruz agreed with the real estate developer’s main campaign plan. “We will build a wall that works,” Cruz said, adding jokingly, “and I’ll get Donald Trump to pay for it.”