WASHINGTON, March 23 (UPI) -- The Republican presidential campaign, already defined by merciless personal attacks between the candidates, is growing to include their wives.
Front-runner Donald Trump, angered by a Facebook ad targeting Mormons in Utah that included a nude photo of his wife, Melania Trump, taken as part of a GQ photoshoot, took to Twitter on Tuesday to vent his anger.
"Lying' Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad. Be careful, Lyin' Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!"
It was not immediately clear what Trump could be referencing about Heidi Cruz, who is a senior executive at Goldman Sachs. Ted Cruz shot back on Twitter, pointing out the ad was created by an anti-Trump Super PAC with no connection to the Cruz campaign.
"Pic of your wife not from us. Donald, if you try to attack Heidi, you're more of a coward than I thought. #classless"
Wednesday morning on CNN, Ted Cruz appeared to channel the film The American President, saying "If Donald wants to get in a character fight he better stick with me because Heidi is way out of his league."
In the film, Michael Douglas, portraying a bachelor president who begins dating, defends his girlfriend, played by Annette Benning, from a political attack, saying: "If you want a character debate, Bob, you better stick with me because Sidney Ellen Wade is way out of your league."
Later in the day, also speaking on CNN, Heidi Cruz defended herself.
"Well, as you probably know by now, most of the things — many of the things — others say are not based in reality," Heidi Cruz said.