Attacks by Donald Trump on his family. Attack of a much more tragic kind by terrorists on Brussels, Belgium.
Those and many more topics were on Ted Cruz's mind when the Texas senator began his campaign tours in Wisconsin with 13 days until the Wisconsin primary. He started his Wisconsin journey with an exclusive conversation with 620 WTMJ's Charlie Sykes at Insight 2016 Wednesday night.
"Donald Trump and I are tied in the state of Wisconsin," Cruz claimed. "We've got two weeks...and the entire country is looking to the state of Wisconsin."
Trump was a major topic of conversation, from policy differences to how he said Trump attacked his wife Heidi.
"When he gets scared, rattled...he reacts by screaming, yelling, often by cursing and by attacking whoever he can...trying to bully people," said Cruz.
"To see him going after Heidi...the daughter of Christian missionaries...an amazing mom...just an unbelievable loving, wonderful mom, wonderful wife, my best friend in the whole world...I think is despicable, and it reveals a lot about his character."
Outside of one quip - "I have zero interest in any parts of Donald Trump's anatomy" - Cruz kept things on issue differences he has with the current leader in GOP delegates for the July convention in Cleveland.
"Donald, when he's upset, he insults, he ridicules, he attacks your wife. He goes into the gutter immediately. I have not, and I will not respond in kind...I'll talk about issues."
The first on the docket for Cruz and Sykes: How to handle ISIS, particularly after the second major terrorist attack in a European capital since November.
"We start with overwhelming air power to saturate and take them out," Cruz said. "We ought to be arming the Kurds."
As for Trump, Cruz claims "Donald's positions change day by day" and that Trump "came out for weakening NATO...there's a word for that. That's called nuts."
"We've seen what happens when America recedes from the world. If Donald Trump did what he said he wants to do, that would be a tremendous victory for Putin...ISIS would be dancing in the streets."
Cruz would not specifically repeat the same words he said Tuesday about the idea of increasing patrols in Muslim neighborhoods.
However, he said he would push for an increase in the effort "to monitor, intercept and stop radical Islamic terrorists before they commit acts of terror."
"Increased law enforcement...military effort, and increased police presence," he added as part of his formula.
Cruz didn't just focus his political attacks on the leading Republican in the race. He also went after President Obama's decision to go to Cuba and appear with that nation's leader Tuesday.
"It really was sad to see the President of the United States travel to Cuba with Hollywood movie stars, rock stars, and lend the legitimacy of America to an absolutely cruel and oppressive regime," said Cruz. His father left Cuba to move to America.
"It was even sadder to see Obama...while Raul Castro attacks America, and then the President doesn't defend America. He says 'Gosh, I agree with you with your attacks on America.' "
When it comes to economic policy, Cruz claimed his top priority was to increase wages of all Americans after what he described as 20 years of wage stagnation.
"Small business is the heart of the economy. Two-thirds of all jobs come from small businesses," he said.
"If you want to see the economy take off, take the boot of the federal government off the backs of the small businesses."
Cruz discussed two particular areas of his reform plan: Tax reform and regulation reform.
His flat tax idea is one of two he proposed.
"The simple flat tax...first $36,000 you earn, you pay zero taxes. Each additional dollar, everyone pays the simple flat 10 percent," said Cruz.
"On the business side, we eliminate the corporate income tax...Obamacare taxes...payroll tax...and the death tax...we replace all of those with a simple 16 percent business flat tax."
His other aim on the economic side is "repealing every single word of Obamacare...the single biggest job killer in America."
Part of his plans involve allowing citizens to buy health insurance outside their state, expand health savings accounts and make sure people can keep their health insurance even if they lose their job."
Cruz called his ideas as to make "health insurance personal, portable and affordable."
When the subject of corruption in federal government came up, the Texas senator said he found relation with Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders.
"I agree...when Sanders says Washington is corrupt, the fix is in and you've got politicians cutting deals...at the expense of working men and women. That is happening in both parties," he said.
"Where I disagree with Bernie is on the solution," Cruz added. "The answer is not 'Let's have a lot more government.' "
Cruz ended his night focusing on how he claimed to be more competitive against Democratic contenders in a general election than Trump.
"The polling consistently shows that I beat Hillary Clinton," he said. "Donald Trump loses to Hillary and loses badly."
"If we nominate Donald Trump, it is a disaster."
Insight 2016 is sponsored by:
Our digital coverage of Decision 2016 is presented by Rosen Nissan/Kia.