A new Wisconsin ad from a Super PAC backing John Kasich copies Donald Trump’s two-word attack on Ted Cruz, calling the Texas senator “Lyin’ Ted.” It also features a disgusting picture of Cruz’s Pinocchio nose extending so long as to form a snake-like noose around his neck. Kasich, who has boasted about avoiding personal attacks on the campaign trail, has asked that the ad be pulled.
“I would hope that they will not use that word and they’ll take it down,” Kasich told reporters on Sunday, referring to the phrase “Lyin’ Ted.” Super PACs are not allowed to coordinate with candidates, and Kasich’s suggestion that the group pull the ad could be seen as a violation of this rule. However, he did not order the group to do so, and comments to the media that he “hopes” the PAC will do something are unlikely to get him into legal trouble.
The Ohio governor is running as the “adult at the kid’s table,” aiming to keep up an atmosphere of compassion and kindness. There have been reports that this is not Kasich’s true personality, but the public image has attracted many moderates to his cause.
The ad, released by the pro-Kasich New Day for America, outlines a litany of Cruz’s alleged lies, and concludes with the damning statement, “If Ted Cruz’s mouth is moving, he’s lying.”
The commercial itself is guilty of twisting the truth. It presents three “lies” for which Cruz cannot directly be blamed: the “lie” that he is the best for the Republican Party, his campaign’s misrepresentation of Ben Carson’s intentions after the Iowa caucus, and another ad released by a pro-Cruz Super PAC attacking Kasich.
The Cruz PAC ad, called “Kasich won’t play,” asserted that notorious liberal donor George Soros donated thousands of dollars to support John Kasich. This claim was proven false, but two Soros coworkers did contribute to that PAC. The false claim was made by a Super PAC unaffiliated with Cruz or the Texas senator’s campaign. Attacking Cruz personally for this ad is just as unfair as it would be to attack Kasich for the “Lyin’ Ted” Pinocchio ad. Both candidates are barred by law from consulting with these groups.
Despite calling for the ad’s removal, Kasich had strong words against Cruz. “The problem with Senator Cruz is he has no record,” the Ohio governor declared. “His record is shutting down the government and making everybody he works with upset.”
As for the Kasich PAC New Day for America, a spokeswoman reiterated her anger at the Cruz PAC ad. “We stand by our ad and the fact that what Ted Cruz’s PAC ran was completely false,” Connie Wehrkamp, the spokeswoman, declared. “We will always call out our opponents if and when they do that, but we are going to review the language we used.”
Kasich shot down rumors that he is running as Trump’s likely vice presidential pick.