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Rubio Campaign Press Release - Marco Rubio Campaign Warns South Carolina Voters of Cruz Dirty Tricks

February 20, 2016


February 20, 2016

Marco's campaign is warning South Carolina voters to beware of dirty tricks from the Cruz campaign during today's primary.

Communications Director Alex Conant explained:

We will not allow Ted Cruz to do to Marco in South Carolina what he did to Ben Carson in Iowa. Cruz has proven that he is willing to do or say anything to get elected. Over the last 10 days, the Cruz campaign has lied, smeared, fabricated and even photoshopped. We fear the worst dirty tricks are yet to come. We strongly urge all South Carolina Republicans to beware of suspicious news reports, emails and social media posts during tomorrow's voting. The Cruz campaign will do anything to stop Marco Rubio's momentum.

South Carolina voters who suspect more dirty tricks by the Cruz campaign to immediately contact the Rubio campaign.

Among the reasons why the campaign is concerned there could be foul play:

Push Polls

Cruz supporters have reportedly been doing "push polls" in South Carolina, which are intended to influence voters without being forthright about where they're coming from.

Ted Cruz denied all knowledge of robocalls being made in South Carolina on Thursday after Donald Trump accused the Texas senator's 'people' of 'doing very sleazy and dishonest "pushpolls" on me.' … The episode follows a report by The Washington Post published earlier in the day that refers to robo-calls to potential voters in South Carolina that become hostile when the respondent voices support for a candidate other than Cruz. The Texas senator's campaign denied for that story that it was responsible for the calls, which said they were being conducted by Remington Research, the name of the consulting firm started by Jeff Roe, Cruz's campaign manager" (Politico, 2/11/16)

Fake Dog-Whistle Robocalls

Some opponents of Marco's have reportedly been making Spanish-language robocalls to spread false impressions about Marco's views.

Over the last week, voters in South Carolina received a robocall, recorded in Spanish, that targeted Rubio for allegedly supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants. Approximately 5 percent of South Carolinians are Hispanic, and only 72 percent of them speak Spanish at home, suggesting that the call was designed as much for its dog-whistle effect as the substance of the attack. As the Huffington Post noted, the woman on the recording heavily emphasizes the words "Marco Rubio," "amnistía," and "inmigración ilegal," words that an English-speaking Republican would grasp immediately. "The recording is most likely an effort to make non-Spanish-speaking voters believe that Rubio is calling Hispanics and promising amnesty," reporter Igor Bobic speculated. (Vanity Fair, 2/19/16)

Utterly Dishonest Ads

South Carolina television stations pulled an anti-Marco ad from a Ted Cruz super PAC after legal review.

Television stations in South Carolina have pulled an ad from Stand for Truth, the 'super PAC' supporting Senator Ted Cruz, after a legal review. The ad, titled 'Sanctuary,' was a version of an ad the group ran in Iowa, criticizing Marco Rubio for his record on immigration. … "We had our legal folks review it, and it was decided that this needed to be pulled and substituted," Randy Ingram, the general manager of WBTW in Myrtle Beach, S.C., said, although he couldn't recall the specifics of the legal team's decision. He said other stations in the Media General umbrella, which includes WCBD in Charleston and WSPA in Greenville/Spartanburg, also pulled the ad. The decision was made on Friday, and the ad was pulled from rotation on Saturday. (The New York Times, 2/15/16)

False Rumors about Opponents

On Iowa Caucus night, the Cruz campaign was accused of "sabotaging [Ben] Carson" by passing around false rumors that he was dropping out of the race:

Dr. Ben Carson and his campaign accused Sen. Ted Cruz's team of sabotaging Carson in the Iowa caucuses Mondaynight by encouraging Cruz supporters to tell voters at their caucus sites — incorrectly — that Carson was dropping out of the race. 'It was happening all over,' Iowa State Director Ryan Rhodes told MSNBC. "One of the precincts Candy [Carson, the candidate's wife] walked into, she had to correct the record. She actually walked in, in Ankeny, and gave a speech about no, he's still in the race and that's a lie." (MSNBC, 2/1/16)

Lying about Marco's Stance on Life and Marriage

Ted Cruz has repeatedly told South Carolinians that Marco isn't fully supportive of defunding Planned Parenthood. National Right to Life has called Cruz's attacks on Marco "inaccurate and misleading."

The National Right to Life, one of the chief arbiters of social issues in GOP politics, quickly stepped in to back Rubio and called Cruz's Friday remarks 'inaccurate and misleading.' 'Marco Rubio voted to defund Planned Parenthood before Ted Cruz ever got to the U.S. Senate. Since Ted Cruz joined the U.S. Senate, both he and Sen. Rubio have voted the same on every roll call that National Right to Life regards as pertinent to defunding Planned Parenthood,' said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. (Politico, 2/12/16)

Cruz has also lied about Marco's position on marriage, claiming it's the same as President Obama's.

The Weekly Standard's Michael Warren said Cruz is being deceptive.

CAROL COSTELLO: "I will say Michael the gay marriage issue is probably very important in a state like South Carolina, and he wants to get ahead of what Ted Cruz is accusing him of." MICHAEL WARREN: "That's right. Let's be honest here I mean Cruz is being somewhat shifty on this at least with regard to Marco Rubio. I mean Rubio came out after that decision and said that while this is the law of the land, that he would appoint court appointments who would seek to overturn this law. So Cruz isn't being quite forthright about this." (CNN, 2/13/16)

Personal Attacks

Cruz staff have now repeatedly attacked Congressman Trey Gowdy, a widely respected conservative, for defending Marco Rubio.

On Fox News, Cruz's communications director attacked Gowdy's intelligence:

GRETCHEN CARLSON: A pretty strong statement now coming from Trey Gowdy. The accusations were alive and well in Iowa as well with your camp against Ben Carson where you had to apologize. So what do you say in this case?"

RICK TYLER: "Well, first of all Trey Gowdy, who was a former federal prosecutor with apparently limited skills, failed to look up that that Facebook started in 2014…" (Fox News, 2/17/16)

Related Images

Marco Rubio, Rubio Campaign Press Release - Marco Rubio Campaign Warns South Carolina Voters of Cruz Dirty Tricks Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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