Monday, February 22, 2016

Cruz Caught Lying Again

Sen. Ted Cruz has been forced to throw his campaign's communications director under the bus after his campaign peddled a video of Sen. Marco Rubio, misrepresenting his words. In the video, Sen Rubio clearly pointed to a Bible held by one of Cruz's campaign aides and stated: "You've got a good book there. All the answers are in there." Cruz's communications director posted the video on Facebook, implying that Rubio actually said "not many answers" in the Bible, a cheap shot clearly designed to sour Christian voters on Rubio. Cruz fired Rick Taylor this afternoon, calling his actions "a grave error in judgment" and that he's conducting his campaign "with the very highest standards of integrity."

This is part of a pattern of dirty tricks on the Cruz campaign's part to completely misrepresent his opponents' views in an effort to woo votes. Most of his false attacks have been leveled against Rubio and Trump, although his campaign falsely spread a rumor at the Iowa Caucuses that Ben Carson was dropping out of the race right before the votes were cast in an effort to siphon off votes from his campaign. Caucus elections are quite different from primary elections. They're conducted by the respective political parties, not the state. Voters show up at caucus venues where everyone votes at the same time, making it easier for voters to react spontaneously to rumors.

We saw a similar tactic like this used by Richard Mourdock's campaign for secretary of state a number of years ago at the state GOP convention. Mourdock's campaign falsely spread a rumor that Mike Delph had endorsed his candidacy after he was eliminated in an early round of voting. In that case, it backfired and probably contributed to Mourdock losing that race. In the case of the Iowa Caucus, Carson complained that he believed he lost support on caucus night because of the false rumor put out by Cruz's campaign, contributing to his narrow victory over Trump.

During both the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries, Trump and Rubio have both complained about robo-calls made by the Cruz campaign disseminating blatantly false information. Cruz can blame others associated with his campaign, but the evidence is accumulating that he implicitly supports these tactics as long as his hands aren't directly on them. This latest incident intentionally misconstruing Rubio's words is beyond the pale and a sign of desperation on the Cruz campaign's part, which obviously fears that as other candidates leave the field their supporters are turning to Rubio as an alternative to the clear front-runner, Donald Trump.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Note that in this brief encounter Rubio makes a distinction in versions of the Bible when he says, "especially that one". So called evangelists are attuned to religious and Bible differences and most are adamant in their views. A prominent issue in the 1960 election was Kennedy's Catholicism which generated an avalanche of pamphlets, speeches, and in-your-face questioning about the candidate's religion. It may well have been Trump's dissing of the Pope that gave him the lion's share of the evangelist vote in South Carolina.