Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, the hard charging rival to Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, failed to report personal loans of as much as $1 million to him and his wife Heidi that helped finance his successful 2012 Senate campaign, but he insisted on Wednesday that it was an inadvertent mistake of little significance.
The loans from Goldman Sachs and Citibank, first reported by The New York Times on Wednesday, initially totaled about $750,000; they were later increased to nearly $1 million before they were paid down, according to the report.
The loans were never reported to the Federal Election Commission, and Cruz and his wife subsequently donated a similar amount to the election campaign that launched the Texas Republican’s meteoric political career. Heidi Cruz is a managing director of Goldman Sachs and is currently on leave to help her husband campaign for president.
Cruz, who is battling Trump for first place in the crucial Iowa caucuses, rose to power with strong Tea Party backing and he frequently railed against Wall Street and big banks. He and his campaign aides pooh-poohed The New York Times report, calling it much ado about nothing.
“The facts of the underlying matter have been disclosed for many, many years,” Cruz told reporters in Dorchester, S.C., according to the Washington Post. “All of the information has been public and transparent for many years, and that’s the end of it.”
Catherine Frazier, a spokesperson for Cruz, told reporters, “We should have disclosed” the loan, and that the campaign is asking the FEC what needed to be done to update Cruz’s Senate campaign financial report.
Questions about Cruz’s Senate campaign finances come just three weeks before the crucial Iowa GOP caucuses and amid growing tension between him and Trump. With Cruz holding a slight lead over Trump in Iowa, according to the latest polls, Trump has begun questioning whether the Canadian-born Cruz is a “natural born” U.S. citizen and eligible to run for president.