Bill O’Reilly says that he has been unable to book Ted Cruz on his show.
The Fox News host was asked by a viewer on Wednesday why he repeatedly interviewed Donald Trump but didn’t interview the Texas senator, who is currently in second-place behind Trump in both national and early-state polls.
“We’ve been trying to get Sen. Cruz on for weeks… and we’ll keep trying,” O’Reilly said.
O’Reilly did not expand on why he had been unable to book Cruz, and neither Fox News nor the Cruz campaign immediately responded to request for comment.
But on Thursday morning, Cruz’s opponents were publicizing O’Reilly’s claim on Twitter.
“@tedcruz won’t sit down with @oreillyfactor??” Alex Conant, the communications director for Sen. Marco Rubio’s campaign, tweeted.
Related: Donald Trump: Ted Cruz can have ‘wacko’ Glenn Beck
Rubio has appeared on O’Reilly’s show several times, as recently as last Friday.
Cruz’s absence from the O’Reilly Factor comes as the Republican primary campaign reaches a fever pitch in Iowa, with less than two weeks to go before the caucuses there.
Sign up for the Reliable Sources newsletter
Trump and Cruz are neck-and-neck in the Hawkeye State, while Rubio is a distant third.
CNNMoney (Los Angeles) First published January 21, 2016: 12:47 PM ET