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“Cruz: I’m Not Shady, But The People I Hire Are”: Thou Shalt Not Criticize Another Republican, Unless You Can

It’s hard to run a campaign on the slogan, ‘TrusTED’—as Sen. Ted Cruz is doing—when everyone thinks you’re a dirty trickster.

As allegations of shady behavior continues to erode his image, just one day before the Nevada caucuses, Cruz dismissed a senior staffer who circulated a false news story that questioned fellow GOP candidate Marco Rubio’s faith.

“I had made clear in this campaign that we will conduct this campaign with the very highest standards of integrity,” Cruz said, in making the announcement to a group of reporters in a small meeting room at a YMCA in northern Las Vegas. “That has been how we’ve conducted it from day one.”

This is the latest indication that the Texas senator is concerned about the narrative that has gained strength with each passing state, that far from being trusTED, he is a con artist; a cheater, a liar.

The Cruz campaign has found itself in the middle of a number of controversies, starting from the very first presidential contest in Iowa. The Texas senator’s campaign circulated information that suggested Carson might be leaving the presidential race, drawing the lasting ire of the neurosurgeon.

Even some Cruz’s supporters, who are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, worry about how nasty that campaign has become. Andrew Russell said he thought that circulating information about Ben Carson’s potential dropout on the night of the Iowa caucuses was “a dirty trick.”

“I don’t know if I would point it to Cruz directly, as opposed to his campaign. I saw on Fox News that he fired his communications director today. So I think maybe people on his team have probably gone too far… they’re definitely dirty tricks. I definitely don’t like it, but I’m willing to overlook it,” Russell told The Daily Beast. “This election process in general has become way too negative, way too harsh.”

And other die-hard supporters blamed Cruz’s opponents for dragging the entire presidential campaign into the mud.

“His campaign is positive, because he’s not attacking anybody… Rubio, Carson and Trump all [are] basically lying about him, so I think they’re the ones running a negative campaign,” said Sheila Rhinehart, a Cruz supporter, who called the Iowa caucus incident “unfortunate.”

It’s true that Trump’s opponents have been hammering him for lies and tricks.

Cruz tried to make nice with Ben Carson, who has argued that Cruz’s campaign spread false information about him on the night of the Iowa caucuses. Despite a face-to-face meeting in a large closet in South Carolina, Carson and Cruz did not make amends.

Sen. Marco Rubio told reporters, “It’s every single day, something comes out of the Cruz campaign that’s deceptive and untrue, and in this case goes after my faith…but this is a pattern now and I think we’re now at a point where we start asking about accountability.”

And Donald Trump can’t seem to utter the name “Cruz” without saying the word “liar” immediately afterward.

Still, the Texas Republican has insisted, from the beginning of the campaign, that he would refrain from criticizing other Republicans, frequently citing Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment: ‘Thou shalt not criticize another Republican.’ But the campaign has turned nasty, and he is losing control of his image.

“When other campaigns attack us personally, impugn my integrity or my character, I don’t respond in kind,” insisted Cruz Monday.

So, at a critical point in the presidential contest, Cruz had to dismiss one of the most senior members of his staff.

The most recent incident involved communications director Rick Tyler, who was forced to apologize after posting a story that alleged Rubio telling Cruz’s father that the bible did “[n]ot have many answers” in it. The story included a video with incorrect subtitles—Rubio was in reality praising the bible.

Cruz announced his decision to ask for Tyler’s resignation in a small, nondescript meeting room at a northern Las Vegas YMCA, before taking the stage and delivering his standard stump speech. To his supporters, he made no mention of his dramatic announcement. It was a shock, perhaps even to Tyler himself, who reportedly stormed off the MSNBC set when the news broke, even though he was scheduled to appear on television.

“Rick Tyler’s a good man,” Cruz told the press. “This was a grave error of judgment. It turned out the news story he sent around was false, but I’ll tell you, even if it was true, we are not a campaign that is going to question the faith of another candidate.”

Cruz faces a seminal moment in his campaign Tuesday: a neck-and-neck race with Rubio for second place in the Nevada caucuses, and then a race to a slew of states that will be contested on March 1st, also known as Super Tuesday. If he can’t build trust, Cruz could be obliteraTED.

 

By: Tim Mak, The Daily Beast, February 22, 2016

February 23, 2016 - Posted by | GOP Primaries, Nevada Caucus, Ted Cruz | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. That’s like Chris Hayes showing an intentional, deceptive clip of Bill Clinon’s speech . * shakes head *

    Like

    Comment by renxkyoko | February 23, 2016 | Reply


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