Mar 23, 2016 · 1 minute

On Tuesday evening, fascist presidential candidate Donald Trump hit a new low even for him.

After an independent anti-Trump group issued a (gross) attack ad featuring his wife, Trump took to Twitter, threatening to “spill the beans” on Ted Cruz’s wife in retaliation.

Senator Cruz hit back that “Donald, if you try to attack Heidi, you're more of a coward than I thought”

For once in his life, Ted Cruz is right. The Republican presidential campaign is vile enough without candidates deciding to smear, oppo research or otherwise go after each others wives. Worse of all, Trump is using a classic trick -- the Sean Rad technique, if you like -- of hinting that there is dirt to be revealed about a woman in order to have others do their dirty work for them. Even if no such dirt exists, the smear is effective because it allows voters to fill in the gaps themselves.  What could be so vile about Ted Cruz’s wife that even Donald Trump won’t come out and say it?

I dunno, maybe she’s a secret Trump supporter?

Or maybe nothing.

Or maybe it’s none of our business.

And then along comes Gawker. Fresh from its $115m+ loss in court for posting a video of Hulk Hogan having sex, the site is getting right back to work. Shortly after Trump posted his disgusting tweet, Gawker’s Brendan O'Connor wrote a post asking “What Beans Does Donald Trump Have On Ted Cruz’s Wife?

We’ll take the bait: What figurative beans might Donald Trump have on Senator Ted Cruz’s wife Heidi Cruz, currently on leave from her job as a managing director in Goldman Sachs’ Houston office?

Email us if you have any ideas:

Plus ca change.