After some operatives in Hawaii spread what appear to be false rumors about Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz is finding himself once again in the position of having to explain the “dirty tricks” coming out of his campaign. Last month on the night of the caucuses in Iowa, members of Cruz’s campaign told people that pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson was suspending his campaign, a falsehood based on a CNN report that Cruz later apologized for.
Now the Rubio campaign is accusing Ted Cruz’s campaign of using “disgusting tactics” to convince voters that the Rubio campaign is in disarray and the candidate is on the verge of dropping out. Once again, CNN was behind the rumors that led to the Cruz campaign’s questionable tactics.
— Joe Pounder (@PounderFile) March 8, 2016
Politico reported Tuesday that Cruz’s surrogates in Hawaii had recently sent out an email titled: “WASTED VOTE.”
“According to multiple news sources, Marco Rubio’s advisers are telling him to drop out of the presidential race before losing his home state of Florida in a few days time,” the reported email said.
That was an apparent reference to a CNN report on Monday that the Rubio campaign labeled“absolutely 100% false.” CNN reported that there had “been a serious internal debate” among Rubio’s advisers “about whether or not he should drop out before Florida.”
The Rubio camp emphatically denied the CNN story all day yesterday, calling it “insane” and “100% BS.”
On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Cruz said that the email was not authorized by his campaign.
“The campaign became aware of the email this morning by press accounts and upon investigation learned that some volunteers in Hawaii were involved in the posting,” Cruz spokeswoman Alice Stewart said in a statement. “The individual(s) who sent this had no authority from the campaign to do so.”
She said the campaign has contacted those responsible and demanded that they stop using the campaign’s official logo.
Rubio spokesman Joe Pounder, meanwhile, said in a forceful statement:
Senator Cruz is up to his dirty tricks again spreading false rumors and lies. We won’t allow him to do to Marco Rubio in Florida what he did to Ben Carson in Iowa. Floridians and voters across the country will reject Senator Cruz’s campaign of disgusting tactics because they know a vote for Cruz is a vote for Donald Trump.