Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz announced today at a campaign event in Nevada that he has asked for his Communications Director Rick Tyler's resignation.
Cruz's action comes after Tyler shared on his social media account a subtitled cellphone video that falsely shows Rubio telling a young man that "not many answers" are in the Bible, and after Rubio condemned the move as a "dirty trick."
Tyler deleted the post and then apologized for it.
"I posted in haste. I should not have done it," Tyler said on Fox News this morning. "I've apologized to Marco Rubio. I apologized to the campaign and I posted that on my Facebook and also shared it on Twitter and I'm saying it here. It was a mistake and I would not knowingly post something that I knew to be false but you're right. The judgment about what he said was wrong and so I apologize about that."
But Cruz did not think it was enough. Cruz said that it was a mistake to question anyone's faith and called for Tyler's resignation. It is unclear if Tyler has in fact resigned.
"Rick Tyler's a good man. This was a grave error of judgment," Cruz said this afternoon. "But I'll tell you even if it was true, we are not a campaign that's going to question the faith of another candidate. Even if it were true, our campaign should not have sent it. That's why I've asked for Rick Tyler's resignation because the standards of conduct in this campaign have been made absolutely clear for every member of the campaign."
Cruz then turned back to hitting Rubio: "I understand that Marco's campaign team believes it's politically advantageous to try to distract the topic from his own record. And they have a long record they've earned in South Carolina of engaging in this kind of trickery and impugning whoever their opponent is to distract the attention," Cruz said.
Rubio's communications director, Alex Conant, commented on Cruz's move to get rid of Tyler.
"Rick is a really good spokesman who had the unenviable task of working for a candidate willing to do or say anything to get elected," Conant said in a statement. "There is a culture in the Cruz campaign, from top to bottom, that no lie is too big and no trick too dirty. Rick did the right thing by apologizing to Marco. It's high time for Ted Cruz to do the right thing and stop the lies."
Speaking to reporters in Las Vegas earlier today, a visibly angry Rubio commented on Cruz's latest hit. "I think we are at a point where we start asking about accountability," he said.
"This campaign now has repeatedly done things that they have to apologize for, and no one is ever held accountable. Who's going to be held accountable for making up this video, who is going to be held accountable for lying about Ben Carson? Who was held accountable for the robocalls, and who was held accountable for the commercials on television that they had to pull down?" Rubio went on, referring to several shady tactics the Cruz campaign has been linked to in recent weeks.
Rubio also called the video "incredibly disturbing."
Rubio said he accepted the Cruz campaign's apology, but that this was starting to become a pattern.
"It's every single day something comes out of the Cruz campaign that's deceptive and untrue," he said.
Rubio said the Bible video was "perhaps the most offensive" tactic to date, as it attacked his faith.
"I know exactly what I said to that young man," Rubio said. "I said the answer to every question you'll ever have is in that book."