In nod to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz sharpens tone while on tour

Perhaps most notably, Mr. Cruz has sharpened his already uncompromising language, eager to retain his own hold on popular anger against the political class, and to demonstrate conservative purity amid attacks from Senator Marco Rubio over immigration and national security policies.

He has coined a new phrase, “undocumented Democrats,” to describe those in the country illegally, and beefed up sections of his stump speech focused on immigration. He expressed amusement that Mr. Rubio had at last described his views on immigration “not only on Spanish-language television but on English-language television,” echoing some far-right commentators who have suggested that Mr. Rubio is more willing to present himself as a pragmatist on the issue when speaking Spanish.

And in a turn that called to mind, for some, Gov. George Wallace’s famous 1963 refrain in praise of segregation during the civil rights movement, Mr. Cruz pledged to oppose legal status for undocumented immigrants “today, tomorrow, forever.”

If the Cruz campaign fears that his words will narrow his path in a possible general election, the candidate has betrayed little unease.