After the National Enquirer published their story accusing Republican Presidential candidate and Texas Senator Ted Cruz of having not one but five affairs, he immediately went into damage control and laid the blame on GOP frontrunner and rival Donald Trump. On Friday afternoon, March 25, 2016, Cruz held a news conference in Oshkosh, Wisconsin after a campaign rally. Cruz vehemently denied the affairs, while at the same time blaming Trump for being behind the story. Cruz called the story “garbage” and a product of “Donald Trump and his henchmen.”
Cruz strongly denied the allegation-telling reporters, “This National Enquirer story is garbage. It is complete and utter lies. It is a tabloid smear, and it is a smear that has come from Donald Trump and his henchmen.” There is no proof of the story’s allegations, or that Trump was involved in any way.
Politico describes Cruz’s statement to the press as a “tirade against Trump.” Cruz is blaming Trump because a former advisor of the GOP frontrunner Roger Stone was quoted in the story. Cruz accused Trump and those advising and working with him on planning to destroy his reputation and campaign. As Politico noted, “the Texas senator said that Stone, the architect of myriad sexual allegations against Bill Clinton, had long been foreshadowing this attack.”
Cruz also does not think it was a coincidence that the National Enquirer story was published just a day after Trump threatened to “spill the beans” on Cruz’s wife, Heidi. Cruz in his rant accused, “And I would note that Mr. Stone is a man who has 50 years of dirty tricks behind him. He’s a man whom a term was coined for copulating with a rodent. Well let me be clear, Donald Trump may be a rat but I have no desire to copulate with him. And this garbage does not belong in politics.”
Cruz and Trump have spent the week waging on the war on each others’ wives. The war on the wives first started earlier this week when an anti-Trump super PAC, Make America Awesome featured an ad on Facebook with a naked GQ photo spread of Trump’s wife, Melania from the time she was a model. Trump blamed Cruz, believing he was behind the attack on his wife.
Trump’s threat to “spill the beans” on Cruz’s wife ended up not being personal but about her professional career. The Trump campaign accused Heidi Cruz of being connected to the administration of President George W. Bush working as an operative, for the “architect of NAFTA,” being “a member of the Council on Foreign Relations,” and working for Goldman Sachs.” Alice Stewart, Cruz’s spokeswoman issued a statement, “There’s no low the Trump campaign won’t go.”
Cruz’s attacks on Trump seemed like a hyperactive effort to divert attention from the National Enquirer story about him. Cruz went on the offensive and descended to name-calling. Cruz accused, “Donald, when he’s losing, when he’s scared, when Republicans are uniting against him, decides to peddle sleaze and slime. You know, Donald is fond of giving people nicknames. With this pattern he should not be surprised to see people calling him ‘Sleazy Donald.'”
Cruz insisted the National Enquirer story is a rumor that will affect his daughters years later. Cruz pointed out, “Years from now when my daughters Google this, they will read these lies, these attacks that Donald and his henchmen and his buddies at the National Enquirer spread about him.”
The gossip magazine has a terrible reputation but has a good track record when comes to calling out political affairs. Still Cruz emphasized the magazine’s reputation, “By the way, here’s how rumor gets spread. They get their henchmen to put it out on the Internet and then they get the National Enquirer to report. Not based on evidence, not based on facts, not based on witnesses, but based on their reporting that it’s on the Internet after they put it on the Internet.”
According to the National Enquirer story not published online “Republican political operatives” are “investigating” whether it is true that Cruz had five affairs during his marriage with “five different women.” Cruz has been selling himself as “deeply Christian man” in courting evangelical GOP leaders and voters, any rumors of infidelities would ruin support from the voter base Cruz desperately relies on in his fight to keep himself a competitor for the GOP nomination.
The Enquirer writes, “‘Private detectives are digging into at least five affairs Ted Cruz supposedly had,'” claimed a Washington insider. ‘The leaked details are an attempt to destroy what’s left of his White House campaign!’ The ENQUIRER reports that Cruz’s claimed mistresses include a foxy political consultant and a high-placed D.C. attorney!” the story also describes each of the women but does not name anyone.
The story also quoted a former Trump advisor, Roger Stone. Stone told the gossip magazine, “These stories have been swirling about Cruz for some time. I believe where there is smoke there is fire. I have to believe this will hurt him with his evangelical Christian supporters.” Stone left Trump’s campaign last summer after differences as to the direction of the campaign.
Rumors have been speculating for some time that one of the women Cruz may have been involved with is Tea Party activist Katrina Pierson. Pierson is “the national spokeswoman for businessman Donald Trump’s presidential campaign” Previously Pierson was a “consultant for Cruz’s United States Senate campaign.” Pierson responded on tweeter denying any past involvement with Cruz, “Of course the National Enquirer story is 100 % FALSE!!! I only speak to myself, however.”
Another of the women speculated to have been involved with Cruz was his former communications director Amanda Carpenter. During a CNN panel, Carpenter appeared on, Trump supporter and Boston Herald columnist Adriana Cohen went on the attack. Cohen implicated Carpenter saying, “Where we should move to is the National Enquirer story that has reported that Ted Cruz has had affairs with five mistresses, including you’ve been named as well, Amanda.”
Continuing Cohen kept pressing Carpenter to respond, “If we’re going to call Donald Trump’s character into question, I would like Ted Cruz to issue a statement whether or not the National Enquirer story is true, that he has had affairs with many women, including you were named, Amanda. Will you denounce this story or will you confirm it?”
Carpenter could not keep her cool. Instead she called the story “tabloid trash.” Carpenter like Cruz went on the offensive attacking Trump for the story, “It’s categorically false. You should be ashamed for spreading this smut. Donald Trump supporters should be held to account for it.”
Trump responded with a statement published on Friday afternoon. The statement read, “I have no idea whether or not the cover story about Ted Cruz in this week’s issue of the National Enquirer is true or not, but I had absolutely nothing to do with it, did not know about it, and have not, as yet, read it. I have nothing to do with the National Enquirer and unlike Lyin’ Ted Cruz I do not surround myself with political hacks and henchman and then pretend total innocence.”
Trump clarified he had nothing to with the story, “Ted Cruz’s problem with the National Enquirer is his and his alone, and while they were right about O.J. Simpson, John Edwards, and many others, I certainly hope they are not right about Lyin’ Ted Cruz. I look forward to spending the week in Wisconsin, winning the Republican nomination and ultimately the Presidency in order to Make America Great Again.”
Cruz is partially blaming Trump because the GOP frontrunner is personal friends with “David Pecker, the CEO of the National Enquirer’s parent company American Media Inc.” The company denied Cruz’s insinuations saying, “no one influences” their articles “other than our own reporters and editors.” American Media stands by the story saying it has merit, “We stand by the integrity of our coverage and remain committed to our aggressive reporting on such an important topic.” The National Enquirer has close ties with Trump and just this month endorsed him for president in a feature article entitled, “Trump Must Be President.”
Cruz continued his “tirade” on Facebook. Cruz wrote a post claiming the “smears” are “offensive to Heidi and me, they’re offensive to our daughters, and they’re offensive to everyone Donald continues to personally attack. Donald Trump’s consistently disgraceful behavior is beneath the office we are seeking and we are not going to follow.”
Cruz’s “tirade” seemed less like a denial and more like a hysterical rant hurling every insult in the book at Trump. Trump even pointed out on Twitter that Cruz was having a meltdown. Trump wrote, “#LyingTed blames @realDonaldTrump for so many things I am starting to think he is having a mental health crisis.”
Although all the GOP candidates throughout the campaign have pledged to support the eventual nominee, Cruz would not commit to supporting Trump if he would clinch the nomination. At the press conference, Cruz insisted, “I will say this: I don’t make a habit out of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my family. And Donald Trump is not going to be the Republican nominee. Donald Trump is not going to be the Republican nominee. We are going to beat him.” Cruz’s chances of beating Trump are not good as the frontrunner has 739 delegates to Cruz’s 465, 1237 are necessary to clinch the nomination.