Constitutional conservative Ted Cruz responded to the tabloid trash blowing up the internet on Good Friday, a piece suggesting Cruz had been involved in five extramarital affairs, with the only quoted source being noted Donald Trump henchman and Alex Jones Show regular, Roger Stone.
The story appeared in the grocery store tabloid The National Enquirer, a publication ran by a close friend of Trump’s, a man ironically named David Pecker.
Here’s a 2013 tweet from Trump promoting Pecker to be the next head of Time:
.@TIME Magazine should definitely pick David Pecker to run things over there – he’d make it exciting and win awards!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2013
In October of last year, New York Magazine ran a well-documented piece noting Trump’s longtime allegiance with Pecker, and noting that, “it appears Trump is getting help from a media outlet known for ending presidential candidacies,” and even ties tabloid stories in the publication as being sourced directly from the Trump campaign.
Here’s another piece in which the tabloid apparently went to bat for Trump smearing one of his ex-wives, Marla Maples:
— PortlanDon (@portlandon) March 25, 2016
Partners in sleaze:
— John J Murphy (@J_Murf07) March 25, 2016
Ted Cruz responded to the story in a press conference on Friday, coining a new nickname for the bloviating billionaire and reality TV actor, “Sleazy Donald,” and also blasted a reporter for trying to play the moral equivalency game between Trump’s attack on Heidi Cruz and Cruz’s defense of his wife.
“Donald Trump demonstrated that when he’s scared — when he’s losing — his first and natural resort is to go to sleaze and to go to slime,” Cruz said. “One question Americans are wondering all over this country is ‘How low will Donald go?’ Is there any level to which he is unwilling to stoop? And to date we have not seen it,” Cruz asserted.
A new national FOX News poll showed Cruz and Trump in a statistical tie, with Trump leading 41 percent to 38 percent, but well within the margin of error.
At today’s presser, Cruz shed light on Roger Stone’s long history as a smear merchant, going back to the days of Richard Nixon, as well as Pecker’s ties to Trump:
“The National Enquirer published a story. It is a story that quoted one source on the record, Roger Stone, Donald Trump’s chief political adviser. Let me be clear: This National Enquirer story is garbage. It is complete and utter lies. It is a tabloid smear that has come from Donald Trump and his henchmen. It is attacking my family.
And what is striking is Donald’s henchman Roger Stone had for months been foreshadowing that this attack was coming.
It’s not surprising that Donald Trump’s tweet occurs the day before the attack comes out. And I would note that Mr. Stone is a man who has 50 years of dirty tricks behind him. He’s a man for 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. And the venue for this attack is not surprising — The National Enquirer.
The CEO of the National Enquirer is an individual named David Pecker. Well, David is good friends with Donald Trump. They have a friendship that goes back for many years.
In fact, the National Enquirer has endorsed Donald Trump, has said he must be president.”
“You know, Donald is fond of giving people nicknames,” Cruz noted. “With this pattern he should not be surprised to see people calling him ‘Sleazy Donald,” because that is his first and last resort is to go to sleaze and to ignore the truth.”
“There is a phenomenon in psychiatry known as ‘projection.’ Donald Trump will soon be the textbook entry for that phenomenon,” Cruz contended, perhaps a shot at Trump’s propensity of shouting “liar liar” to anyone who challenges him, while he himself has zero regard for facts or truth and often denies his own words, sometimes within hours or even minutes of saying them.
When a reporter tried to play the moral equivalency with Cruz, calling Cruz’s and Trump’s back-and-forth regarding their wives “childish,” Cruz gave the reporter a sharp tongue-lashing.
“Sir, let’s be clear. One person has been childish — Donald J. Trump,” Cruz said emphatically.
“When the reporter disagreed, that both of the candidates were in the mud, Cruz powerfully swatting him away.
Sir, I understand in the media — that the game the media wants to play is when Donald attacks my family to say ‘everyone is guilty.’
I have never once attacked any member of Donald’s family. I do not intend to. Indeed, when Donald sent a second tweet attacking my wife, I responded by saying, ‘Donald, real men don’t bully women. Your wife is lovely.’
So not only did I not attack his wife, I praised his wife and I simply said ‘Heidi is the love of my life.’
Now, I’m sorry, sir, if you believe that defending your wife and defending your family is childish, but it is not. And the media is being dishonest when it claims everyone is equally responsible when he attacks my wife and I turn around and praise his family and defend my wife, they are categorically different. And any media reporters who say otherwise are not being truthful.“
Cruz said that voters are beginning to figure out that Donald Trump would be an embarrassment as president.
“We don’t want a president who traffics in sleaze and slime,” Cruz said. “We don’t want a president who attacks the family members of other candidates.”