Fact check: Ted Cruz hasn't insulted Donald Trump personally?

At Thursday night's debate, Ted Cruz claimed he hasn't personally insulted Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential race. Is this true?

"If Donald engages in insults or anybody else, I don't intend to reciprocate. I have not insulted Donald personally and I don't intend to," the Texas senator said at the final GOP presidential debate before the Iowa caucuses on Monday.

Cruz qualified his remark by saying there is a difference between personal insults and attacks.

He may have had a narrow definition in mind, along the lines of his own debate imitation of Trump.

"Let me say I'm a maniac and everyone on this stage is stupid, fat, and ugly. And Ben, you're a terrible surgeon," he said. "Now that we've gotten the Donald Trump portion out of the way..."

But there are examples that Politifact collected of Cruz hurling insults at Trump, who decided to boycott Thursday night's debate. Some of them are not explicitly personal insults, but they are subtle.

After Trump backed out of the debate, Cruz suggested that Trump doesn't have a thick enough skin because he feared facing Fox News host and debate moderator Megyn Kelly.

"Apparently Mr. Trump considers Megyn Kelly very, very scary," Cruz said at an event in Iowa. "And, you know, Donald is a fragile soul."

In a tweet, Cruz referred to Trump "trembling at being questioned" by Kelly.

And Cruz has also suggested in language that questioned Trump's character that his debate dodge wasn't because he was afraid of Kelly.

"He's afraid of you," Cruz told Iowa voters this week. Trump "doesn't want to answer questions from the men and women of Iowa about how his record doesn't match what he's selling."

At the last Republican debate, Cruz made fun of "New York values," which had come up in a radio interview earlier this month.

Trump, he said "may shift in his rallies to playing 'New York, New York,' because -- you know, Donald comes from New York, and he embodies New York values."

In the debate, Trump took the attack as a personal one and responded aggressively by touting New York City's recovery after the 9/11 attacks.

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.