Fake Rubio-Obama Photo Perpetuates Cruz Dishonesty Narrative
My disclaimer here at the top: I worked for Scott Walker before he suspended his effort last fall, and remain neutral in the GOP presidential primary.
As for “defining” opponents and launching waves of fact-based attacks in every available medium, I’m all for it. I’ve won tough campaigns and lost them, and the South Carolina GOP primary is a knife fight of the highest order.
But the Cruz campaign’s fake, photoshopped image of Marco Rubio shaking hands with President Obama — and his campaign’s brazen brush off and ‘rationale’ that it’s simply “symbolism” — is a shocking exercise in poor judgment and warped thinking.
The Cruz campaign, which did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment, later acknowledged it owned the website but suggested that the fake picture wasn’t a big deal.
“Two days before the presidential primary in South Carolina, they want to talk about a picture we used,” Rick Tyler, a Cruz spokesman, told CNN. “If Rubio has a better picture of him shaking hands with Barack Obama, I’m happy to swap it out.”
Seriously? This flippant attitude and response is and should be unacceptable to Cruz himself. Even Cruz supporters at Erick Erickson’s Resurgent castigated Cruz’s campaign for the “boneheaded” maneuver.
The fact Cruz is already under fire for deceptively suppressing Ben Carson turnout, and now embroiled in a separate controversy about a fake Facebook post about SC Rep. Trey Gowdy, one would think his campaign would be more careful.
Cruz’s masterful use of words, rhetoroic and logic has helped him tremendously, but he already suffers from a likability deficit — and the stigma of dishonesty attached to it, will, down the road, undermine him.
This latest dishonest Cruz photoshop incident will be a tipping point when it comes to concrete beginning to dry on the “Cruz is a liar” narrative.
And he deserves it.