Rep. Steve King rips Trump's attacks on Cruz: The Founding Fathers would have settled this with a duel
Rep. Steven King (R-IA) (MSNBC)

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suggested that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) should settle his escalating dispute with Donald Trump by fighting to the death.

King, the lip-syncing national co-chair of Cruz's presidential campaign, said he was appalled by Trump's latest attacks on his strongest Republican rival, reported Real Clear Politics.

"This is just -- it is the sickening display of a school yard bully," King said. "We've never seen this in politics before. I notice that somebody tallied up in the debate Saturday night that the word 'liar' was used 22 times."

"We don't use that word where I come from, because when you make that kind of allegation, we look back at our founding fathers, for example," the lawmaker continued, "and realize that Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton fought a duel to the death over such allegations, and now we have them hurled out as though making that allegation somehow makes it true and makes it stick."

Burr, who was Thomas Jefferson's vice president, fatally shot longtime political rival Alexander Hamilton during a July 11, 1804, duel in New Jersey.

Trump, the Republican frontrunner, called a news conference Monday to attack Cruz's honesty and religious sincerity, and he threatened a lawsuit to challenge the Canadian-born Texas senator's qualifications to run for president under constitutional rules.

He also threatened a third-party campaign if the Republican Party did not back him.

"I will say this," King said. "The things I heard Donald Trump say, you would never want a president of the United States speaking like that from the podium. Think of this press conference he just did. Think of the great seal of the United States of America in front of him. The president of the United States hurling those baseless accusations out, attacking people, attacking their character willy-nilly, calling them liars with no basis or substance."

Watch the interview posted online by MSNBC: