US Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has censured the newly-formed alliance between rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich, calling them “pathetic.”
Cruz and Kasich, who are facing a potential wipeout in the national presidential nominating contests on Tuesday, teamed up against Trump, provoking a barrage of new attacks from the business mogul.
"It shows how weak they are. It shows how pathetic they are," Trump told a cheering crowd in Warwick, Rhode Island, on Monday.
"You know, if you collude in business or if you collude in the stock market, they put you in jail," Trump said. "But in politics - because it's a rigged system, because it's a corrupt enterprise - in politics, you're allowed to collude."
Senator Cruz has said the deal with the Ohio governor is aimed at preventing a Trump nomination which would guarantee victory for Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in the November 8 presidential election.
The two politicians issued statements Sunday night, saying they will divide their campaign focuses, with Cruz planning to focus on Indiana's May 3 primary and Kasich aiming to work on Oregon's May 17 primary and New Mexico's June 7 vote.
The strategy is aimed at blocking Trump from gaining the 1,237 delegates necessary to claim to GOP nomination this summer, according to CNN.
Trump, a New York billionaire, said Monday that his rivals had committed "a horrible act of desperation", adding, “it takes two guys, longtime politicians to get together to try to beat Trump, and yet they’re way behind.”
A recent poll by the Capitol Weekly/Sextant Strategies showed 26 percent of Cruz supporters only back him up to prevent Trump from becoming this year’s GOP nominee for the White House. Also, 34 percent of those who support Kasich said their vote was anti-Trump.
If all the candidates fail to have enough support on the first vote at the national convention, most delegates can choose to switch to another candidate on subsequent ballots.