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Ted Cruz Expected To Launch Presidential Campaign on Monday
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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is set to deliver a major speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, on Monday morning—and speculation is mounting that Cruz may indeed launch a presidential bid right then and there.
Roll Call’s Niels Lesnewski reported on Saturday that the speech is being “billed as ‘an important speech.”
“Aides to the Texas Republican, who has been contemplating a run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, were tight-lipped Friday about the details of the visit to the campus of Liberty University, but the timing of the speech would be right for getting somewhat ahead of the curve on announcing a White House run, at least among senators,” he wrote for the Roll Call story.
Then on Saturday, the Houston Chronicle—citing anonymous sources inside the Cruz team—wrote that Cruz will announce a formal presidential campaign, forgoing the exploratory committee stage to become the first declared candidate for the Republican nomination in 2016.
If that’s true, Cruz could effectively box out the rest of the field as now grassroots activists, donors and others who could be supporting any presidential campaign have an early home to go to and work with. With Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) slated to wait until April 7, according to most major news reports, barring any other candidates announcing their candidacy earlier, Cruz could have the entire field to himself for at least two weeks.
Cruz’s likely decision to forgo an exploratory committee and jump right in also provides a definite signal that his approach to this potential campaign is unconventional — and he won’t play by Washington’s normal playbook.
“Sen. Ted Cruz plans to announce Monday that he will run for president of the United States, accelerating his already rapid three-year rise from a tea party insurgent in Texas into a divisive political force in Washington,” the Houston Chronicle’s Theodore Schliefer wrote. “Cruz will launch a presidential bid outright rather than form an exploratory committee, said senior advisers with direct knowledge of his plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made yet. They say he is done exploring and is now ready to become the first Republican presidential candidate.”
Cruz is delivering Liberty University’s Convocation, and sources close to the senator are still tight-lipped and won’t confirm or deny anything about the senator’s speech at Liberty University on Monday.
Breitbart News will be on scene reporting on whatever Cruz is going to break out in the Liberty University speech. Cruz will also join the Breitbart News Sunday radio program on Sunday night, which airs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET on Sirius XM Patriot Channel 125 and is hosted by Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon.
Cruz, now just over two years into his first term in the U.S. Senate, has been a tour-de-force for conservatism since winning his election in 2012. A fierce grassroots Tea Partier, Cruz is the consummate Washington outsider and has fought brutal battles with both Democrats and some establishment elements within his own party.
Assuming he does run for president, Cruz is expected to run as a conservative in the likes of Ronald Reagan—someone unafraid to stand up and fight for what he believes in and not scared of what blowback from the political establishment that will cause him.
In an exclusive interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) hosted by the American Conservative Union (ACU) last month, Cruz told Breitbart News that “the central question” for Republicans if they want to win in 2016 “is how do you bring back the millions of conservatives who have stayed home the last two elections?”
“That’s one of the reasons I’m looking so seriously at this race is because if you look at all the candidates—we have to nominate a candidate who can energize and mobilize those conservatives and bring them back to the polls,” Cruz said.
Cruz said that any Republican who will win both the GOP nomination and the White House would need to focus on running a populist campaign that sticks up for ordinary Americans over special interests, lobbyists and political consultants. In that part of the quote, Cruz used a new line that he first coined in his speech to the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines in January: “The Miracle of America.”
“I think we also, to win, have to run a populist campaign for working men and women against the corruption in Washington,” Cruz said. “There’s a basic choice—do you stand with the people? Or do you stand with the bipartisan corruption in Washington? If we run a populist campaign standing for freedom in 2016, we will win and we will save this country and reignite the miracle of America.”
Cruz will be publishing a book—A Time For Truth: Reigniting The Miracle Of America—on June 30, according to the Associated Press“[Cruz] said that ‘A Time for Truth’ will include vignettes about Anwar Sadat, Elie Wiesel and others who ‘had the courage’ to speak out even at risk to themselves, a theme he acknowledged can be found in a famous work by a future president, then-Sen. John F. Kennedy’s ‘Profiles In Courage,’” the Associated Press wrote a few weeks ago. “The vignettes draw upon ‘an aspect of what Kennedy did’ in his book, Cruz said of ‘Profiles in Courage,’ a tribute to U.S. senators who took stands unpopular within their own party.”
In an interview with Breitbart News at the Iowa Freedom Summit where he rolled out “The Miracle Of America” theme, Cruz explained that it signifies the “extraordinary challenge” Americans are going to face over the next couple years.“We’re facing a time of extraordinary challenge right now and over the next two years. Americans need to come together to reignite the ‘Miracle Of America,’” Cruz said in that interview. “The Miracle of America consists of the principles this country was founded on, first and foremost that our rights come from God Almighty—not from government—and that the Constitution serves, as Jefferson puts it, as chains to bind the mischief of government.
Secondly, the unlimited opportunity of free men and free women to achieve their dreams—if you’re a single mom waiting tables, if you’re a teenage immigrant washing dishes, the miracle of America is that you too can achieve your heart’s desire with hard work and diligence. Anything is possible. Third, American exceptionalism—that we are a unique nation, the indispensable nation on earth, a clarion voice for freedom that we will speak for liberty, for truth. That we will be as Reagan put it, a shining city on a hill.”
Cruz will likely, if the Chronicle reporting is accurate, be the first candidate to enter what is expected to be a crowded GOP field seeking the 2016 Republican nomination for the presidency. He knows it is crowded, and what sets him apart, he said in another separate interview with Breitbart News in Clemson, South Carolina, before the 2014 midterm elections is that he’s standing up and leading—fighting against big government and for constitutional conservatism—on every major issue.
“By any measure, there are probably a dozen senators or governors who are thinking about this,” Cruz said. “Every one of them I would urge to stand up and lead. And don’t just lead on one or two issues. Lead on the issues of the day–lead on the threats to our liberty and the future of our kids. I’d be thrilled if a year from now you and I are sitting in a car talking and there are a half dozen Republicans who are standing up and leading and effectively making the case that the path we’re on isn’t working and there’s a better way. If we’re going to turn this country around, and I believe we are, the only way we’re going to do it is energizing and mobilizing the grassroots–building a grassroots army–to stand up together and pull this country back from the fiscal and economic cliff we’re facing, to restore our constitutional rights.”
Cruz has said numerous times, including in those interviews with Breitbart News, that he expects 2016 to be an election much like 1980 since—in his estimation—President Barack Obama is “more extreme than Jimmy Carter” in “every regard.”
Looking forward to 2016, Cruz said in the Clemson interview, Republicans need a figure like Reagan—like himself—to step up into the void and obtain the Republican nomination so the Democrats don’t win the general election.
“The answer is much the same [in 2016], which is the movement has to come from the people, as it did in 1980,” Cruz said. “Reagan never condescended to the American people. Instead, he spoke to the same basic values that Americans have always shared. Common sense values, values that every small town, every small business throughout this country have shared for hundreds of years. Live within your means. Don’t bankrupt your kids and grandkids. The media likes to characterize those views as radical or extreme.”
Is Ted Cruz, born in Canada, eligible to run for president?
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during the family leadership summit in Ames, Iowa, on Aug. 10, 2013.
Can Ted Cruz run for president if he was born in Canada?
The Republican senator from Texas says he can. And just to be sure, he’s taking the extra step of renouncing the Canadian citizenship he says he didn’t even know he had.
Cruz -- full name: Rafael Edward Cruz --was born in Canada in 1970 because his father was working for the oil industry there. The senator’s recently released birth certificate shows his mother was born in Delaware and his father was born in Cuba. The Cruz family left Canada a few years later. Cruz grew up in Texas and graduated from high school there, later attending Princeton University and Harvard Law School.
By virtue of his American-born mother, Cruz, 42, considers himself a natural born citizen and eligible to run for president.
So is he eligible? The vast majority of legal thought and arguments indicate he is.
Is there the tiniest sliver of uncertainty? Yes, there’s that, too.
The Constitution says any candidate for president must be 35 years of age, a resident within the United States for 14 yearsand a "natural born citizen."
We’ve looked at the question of natural born citizenship before. Back in 2008, people raised questions about the "natural born" citizenship status of both major party candidates.
We’ve fact-checked several statements about President Barack Obama’s place of birth and his birth certificate. Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and his mother was a U.S. citizen. His father was Kenyan.
We also looked at the case of John McCain, who was born in the Panama Canal Zone because his American father served in the military. McCain, the 2008 GOP nominee, saw his standing briefly challenged in court.
Interestingly, both of McCain’s potential Democratic opponents -- Obama and then-Sen. Hillary Clinton -- co-sponsored a Senate measure to settle McCain’s eligibility. The April 2008 resolution said, "John Sidney McCain, III, is a 'natural born Citizen' under Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution of the United States."
Defining "natural born"
So what is a "natural born" citizen? The Constitution doesn’t specifically say.
In 2008, we reviewed research and polled several legal experts. The consensus was that someone is a "natural born" citizen if they have citizenship at birth and don’t have to go through a naturalization process to become a citizen.
If that’s the definition, then Cruz is a natural born citizen by being born to an American mother and having her citizenship at birth. (This same logic would apply to Obama, even if he were born in another country, which he wasn’t.)
The Congressional Research Service published a report on the issue after the 2008 election; the agency is tasked with providing authoritative research to all members of Congress. It, too, supported the thinking that "natural born" citizenship means citizenship held "at birth."
But the Supreme Court -- the ultimate arbiter of constitutional questions -- has never ruled on the matter. And that means a note of uncertainty remains.
Sarah H. Duggin, a professor of law at Catholic University, has written about and studied the issue extensively. She told us in 2008 that the question of natural born citizenship is "one of the most deceptively simple, complex issues."
We reached her again this week to ask about Cruz’s eligibility. "It would be reasonable to interpret the Constitution’s natural born citizenship provision to include children born abroad to U.S. citizens, including Senator Cruz, for a number of reasons," she said.
But is it 100 percent sure?
"Unfortunately, we cannot say for sure without either a definitive Supreme Court ruling, or an amendment to clarify the Constitution."
We need another Jimmy Carter type president. Somebody that has not done hardcore drugs such as cocaine, sexually assaulted women, sexually harassed, homosexual affairs, heterosexual affairs, involved in fraud, took bribes or had people murdered on their orders.
Let's set the bar high, instead of lowering our standards. If they disregarded the law before, wait until they become President and start signing off on surveillance programs that violate the 4th Amendment, authorize an American citizen to be assassinated, or lies about WMD. Any crimes committed that were not caught by law enforcement, it should be treated as one when they run. A person that runs who used cocaine, that person should be treated as having a conviction for possession of a narcotic.
I am sick of dealing with the crap the American people put in office.
Get real. Humans err.
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I think even this asshole himself knows that he doesn't have a shot in hell at winning either the nomination, much less the presidency. He will though shape the debates and the primaries by pulling the field even more right than Santorum did.
Also, he will be a kingmaker in that when he eventually pulls out, his supporters will be highly sought after by the remaining candidates, so they'll be kissing his ring.
His goal is to pull the republican presidential field even further to the ideological right.
Which is all the more reason that there needs to be a liberal challenger to Hillary in the Democratic primary.
Thoughtone, you have your birther movement
This fool has a snowball's chance in hell to reach the White House.
No, that's nonsense created by your side to disrespect the president.
We are concerned about real issues.
So it's true you really do lurk, awaiting some sign from the far right (in outer space) wingers.
So it's true you really do lurk, awaiting some sign from the far right (in outer space) wingers to appear and defend.
Why Cruz Is Far More Dangerous Than Trump
The latest poll on the GOP presidential candidate's derby now has Texas Senator Ted Cruz steaming past prior front-runner Donald Trump in the crucial first out the box Iowa primary February 1.
The poll result tells much about why Cruz is far more dangerous than Trump. But there's more, much more, to tell why. Cruz actually won a key elected office and has the experience in running a real campaign, and building a political apparatus from the bottom to the top to stay in office. In the short time he's been in the Senate he's done much more than hold the office.
He has managed to make a name for himself by being an effective obstructionist especially with his repeated saber rattle to shut down the government. In the process, he's cowered GOP leadership on his wacky obstructionism, or into outright support. The party leadership may scoff at him, even loath him, but they can't deny him. He is not a party establishment pariah as Trump is. He has even managed to do a little party one-upmanship by seeming to be critical even disparaging of Trump all the while being careful not to do or say anything that would alienate Trump's anti-party establishment, mostly white/blue-collar, disaffected base.
And speaking of base support, Cruz has support that's firm, committed, politically savvy, and potentially political lethal. That's the increasingly rock solid support of ideological ultra-conservatives, and evangelicals. There numbers are big and they vote. The estimate is that white evangelical Protestants make up nearly one in four voters.
The problem for the GOP establishment is that these voters are totally alienated from it and stayed home in droves in the 2008 and 2012 presidential contests. GOP presidential contenders John McCain and Mitt Romney were simply too moderate, too compromised, and too much a part of the Washington elite to suit their tastes. Cruz is their dream come true in a candidate. He is a professed evangelical, ultra-conservative on all issues, takes an uncompromising small government, strict constructionist stance on the law and public policy questions. Most importantly, he is not afraid to talk tough and mean, and lash out at the Washington establishment when it suits his purpose.
Cruz can work both sides of the political street. He can play direct to the hard right's agenda and at the same time burnish his Senate credentials to tout his political experience and give the appearance that he could actually get things done if elected. This would make him an almost irresistible force for GOP party leaders to resist endorsing and getting behind if he ultimately emerges as the one who stands the best chance of getting the nomination.
This would compel the Republican National Committee, the Koch Brothers, and the major GOP corporate funders and bundlers to open wide their purses and the party's massive campaign propaganda machine to Cruz. This combined with the mountains of small and mid-size donations that would flood his campaign from energized ultra-conservative and evangelical grass roots voters would put him in a commanding financial position. He would have the resources and political backing from both the top and bottom of the GOP electorate to give the likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton a real run for the White House.
Cruz's shoot from the lip style, while seemingly speaking with authority, would make him a formidable foe when it comes to the rough and tumble of trading barbs and slings with Clinton. He would not hesitate to relentlessly pick and probe at and pound on her perceived political weaknesses. That is her supposedly untrustworthiness, and long ties to the Washington establishment to stir, enrage, and whip up even greater loathing against Clinton, the Washington bureaucracy, and the Democrats.
This alone would translate out to untold numbers of more votes for Cruz; votes that almost certainly would not have gone to either Trump or a mainstream GOP presidential nominee. This increased backing could perilously morph into a horserace with Clinton in the must-win swing electoral states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Colorado, Illinois, and especially Ohio. Cruz going in to the general election would have a huge electoral anchor in the Deep South, Texas and Oklahoma, the Border States, and the Heartland states. This would not be enough to tip the electoral scales to him. But with potential wins in any of the swing states it would make the race a real nightmare for Democrats.
The Democrats bank on the GOP imploding with Trump and the supposedly massive turnout of youth, blacks, Hispanics, LGBT, labor, and moderate mid-income white women to more than offset any numbers the GOP could muster. This is a big mistake. These voters did come out in near record numbers for Obama in 2008 and to a lesser extent in 2012. However, Clinton is not Obama. That's to say she's not a racial history making candidate. His election and reelection was a deeply personal, heartfelt game changing victory for millions. The jury is way out on whether that same deep passion and motivation will be there for Clinton.
Meanwhile Cruz bides his time waiting for a Trump implosion, all the while with his base and party credentials firmly in hand. This makes him far more dangerous than Trump.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His latest book is Trump and the GOP: Race Baiting to the White House (Amazon Kindle). He is a frequent MSNBC contributor. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network
Karma: Ted Cruz Releases Mother’s Birth Certificate After She’s Found On Canadian Voter List
The modern Republican Party has utterly abandoned any pretense at offering legitimate policy proposals or coherent ideological platforms more sophisticated than “I’ll make it great again!” Instead, they choose to play the lowbrow game of petty nationalism and racial scapegoating, believing that the fears of white Christian men will be enough to lift them to office.
But toying so cavalierly with such strong emotions can quickly grow beyond the control of the party, and it is the height of delicious irony to see a Republican candidate ensnared by his party’s own race-baiting smear campaigns.
Donald Trump was the leading perpetrator of the absurd “birther” campaign that questioned whether President Obama was born in America and was eligible to be president, with all the barely disguised racism that such an accusation entails. The vast majority of Republican politicians have gone along with perpetuating that narrative in the face of decency and easily confirmed facts.
As the primary race heats up, Trump has thrown a rival to the birther wolves that he roused. The religious extremist and obstructionist Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is the newest target of right-wing inquisition, fed to the auto da fe of birtherism, burned by the flames of rabid nativism and smeared with the muck of ignorance that Cruz himself helped churn. If Ted Cruz has ever held any consistent political position, it is his enthralled support everything that Donald Trump says or does – and now it’s come back to haunt him.
Trump started this latest chapter in the usual Trumpian way – saying that something exists to the mainstream media, which then spins itself into a frenzy bringing his self-fulfilling prophecy to life. In this case, Trump told conservative propagandist Joe Scarborough that:
I’d hate to see something like that get in his way. But a lot of people are talking about it and I know that even some states are looking at it very strongly, the fact that he was born in Canada and he has had a double passport…Well, I mean, honestly I hope it’s not the case. I hope that’s not going to be a problem for him, but I’ve been hearing a lot about it, and you’ve been hearing, and I guess everybody’s talking about it now that he’s doing better, and I think that they are looking at it.
Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother; while Cruz represents a direct threat to our national security and is a dangerous religious fanatic, such petty attacks should be beneath participants in the world’s most famous democracy. After his parents’ names were found on a Canadian voter roll, Cruz was so shaken that he has actually released his mother’s birth certificate, which proved that she was born in Delaware. Of course, his release was not met with the amount of suspicion and disbelief that President Obama’s certificate provoked, but the issue is still unresolved; since the courts have never needed to rule on the issue of presidential candidates who were born outside the U.S, he is left vulnerable to a potential lawsuit that could take years to process.
But it is fitting karma for a shameless hypocrite and one of our nation’s most despicable politicians, who has done nothing with his Congressional career but promote his personal agenda and ambitions, inspiring the virulent hatred of both his fellow Republicans and the Democrats across the aisle. He has done nothing but obstruct the legislative agenda of Congress, pioneering the “brinkmanship” politics that provoked an expensive government shutdown and routinely threatened to do so again.
He is a misogynist liar who spearheaded the smear campaign against Planned Parenthood, a vile man who would rather see American women pregnant and barefoot than have control over their own bodies, a man who fights for the “religious freedom” of Christians to discriminate against gays but then works to deny religious freedom to any religion that is not his particular version of Wahhabi Christianity. A man who speaks of his devotion to “family values” but voted to deny paid family leave to workers. He heartlessly speaks openly of “carpet-bombing” the Middle East until the “sand glows” regardless of the civilian casualties that it would surely cause while refusing to open our borders to the fleeing refugees that such a cruel strategy would create – even though his father was a refugee.
Ted Cruz has a lot to answer for; this latest development is very amusing, but does not nearly make up for the harm that he has done and proposes doing to our nation. Even the White House was rather gleeful at the dissection of Cruz’s citizenship, saying that it would be “very ironic” if Republicans chose Cruz as the nominee after all the ridiculous controversy about President Obama, noting that Cruz is “somebody who actually wasn’t born in the United States and only 18 months ago renounced his Canadian citizenship.” Take heed, Mr. Cruz; your hypocrisy was bound to catch up to you someday. This is only the tip of the iceberg.
Nina Divine i'm not judging her for that. This lady must be exhausted with all the meetings, lunches , travelling to do in a small amount of time to follow her husband's dream.
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Dan Huffman Sadly, I think he's the best option left available, but then I'm probably relatively conservative compared to many of Phil's followers.
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Jill Marie This is hilarious but she is probably exhausted. She may also be on meds that make her tired. She was in the mental ward not too long ago.
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Barb Morgan I don't think he is going to win. It will be between Trump and Hillary.
"}" class="UFILikeLink">Like · Reply · 1 · 29 mins
Dexter Spann That's what those pain pills do to ya
"}" class="UFILikeLink">Like · Reply · 24 mins
Jeff Mullins How does a wax face douche like Ted get an attractive lady like this?
"}" class="UFILikeLink">Like · Reply · 8 hrs
Thomas Baker Maybe it's the Xanax she is taking due to twats like you. And Trump
"}" class="UFILikeLink">Like · Reply · 9 hrs · Edited
David K Miller Would you rather have Trumpt as the Republican Candidate?
"}" class="UFILikeLink">Like · Reply · 3 hrs
Allison Pointer lol, reminds me of a college professor I had.
"}" class="UFILikeLink">Like · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs
Jose Fleitas Poor thing. Probably hears this all the time in her house
"}" class="UFILikeLink">Like · Reply · 20 mins
Cathy Gates Me too.
"}" class="UFILikeLink">Like · Reply · 9 hrs
Matthew Banks lol
"}" class="UFILikeLink">Like · Reply · 8 hrs
Trump tweets seemingly threatening message about Ted Cruz’s wife
By Nisha Chittal
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks with fellow candidate Donald Trump during a Tea Party Patriots rally against the Iran nuclear deal on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Sep. 9, 2015.
Photo by Pete Marovich/Bloomberg/Getty
Just as polls out west were closing Tuesday night, GOP front-runner Donald Trump tweeted an odd message directed at Republican rival Senator Ted Cruz, and seemingly at his wife, Heidi Cruz.
Trump originally wrote: “Wow @SenTedCruz, that is some low level ad you did using a picture Melania in a G.Q. shoot. Be careful or I will spill the beans on your wife.”
(Trump quickly deleted that message, but then reposted it a few minutes later, slightly changing the language but keeping the sentiment intact):
Donald J. Trump
Lyin' Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad. Be careful, Lyin' Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!
8:53 PM - 22 Mar 2016
Cruz quickly fired back with his own response from his Twitter account:
Pic of your wife not from us. Donald, if you try to attack Heidi, you're more of a coward than I thought. #classless https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/712457104515317764 …
9:21 PM - 22 Mar 2016
The ad the billionaire mogul referred wasn’t run by the Cruz campaign, but was instead created by the anti-Trump group Make America Awesome, which was targeting the Mormon vote in Utah. The photos of Melania Trump referenced in the ad are from a shoot that Mrs. Trump, a model, did for GQ magazine more 15 years ago, before she was married to Donald.
Later in the evening, Liz Mair, a political strategist who founded the group behind the anti-Trump ads, chimed in on Twitter to clarify that they were made and distributed by her group, not Cruz, and then continued to prod the front-runner throughout the evening.
The Future First Lady? See Melania Trump's nude photo shoot
Over 15 years ago we profiled Donald Trump's then-girlfriend Melania Knauss. Now his wife, our naked profile shoot featured her on his customised Boeing 727, wearing handcuffs, wielding diamonds, and holding a chrome pistol (It was the lad mags era after all...) It makes for some interesting reading today, since his recent success in his latest run for president
Story by GQ
Friday 4 March 2016
<img src="http://gq-images.condecdn.net/image/xre9XV9B6kg/crop/405" class="" />
Friday 4 March 2016
Want jet-set chic? Then sex, style and 18-carat gold seat belts are essential. Supermodel Melania Knauss [now Mrs Donald Trump] is the launch pad for 14 pages of high living.
Photography by Antoine Verglas
"She's popular, she's brilliant, she's a wonderful woman," says Trump with uncharacteristic understatement. And who are we to disagree? Not only does she manage to keep a man fabled for his erections (the latest is the Trump World Tower on New York's First Avenue) on the right flight path, but she's also fluent in four languages. Very handy for those summit meetings.
Donald Trump tweets unflattering photo of Ted Cruz’s wife on second day of candidates’ inane wives battle
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Thursday, March 24, 2016, 9:51 AM
Donald Trump and Ted Cruz’sidiotic war of the wivesdragged on Wednesday night, with yet another Twitter spat between the GOP presidential contenders over the women who are stuck with them.
Trump —never oneto show a way with women — tweeted an unflattering photo of Heidi Cruz, next to a glowing pic of his own former model wife, Melania Trump.
DONALD TRUMP TWEETS VICIOUS THREAT ABOUT TED CRUZ'S WIFE
“The images are worth a thousand words,” said a caption on the flagrant photo, which — according to a watermark — came from a Trump Twitter supporter who goes by“Don Vito.”
JAE C. HONG/AP
Melania and Donald Trump.
Trump threw in one of his new favorite hashtags, “#LyinTed.”
QUIZ: WHO SAID IT? TRUMP, HITLER, MUSSOLINI OR STALIN?
Cruz once again took the tyrannical tycoon’s bait, tweeting back to him: “Donald, real men don't attack women. Your wife is lovely, and Heidi is the love of my life.”
LUPICA:TRUMP, CRUZ SHOULD REVISIT BUSH SPEECH AFTER 9/11
The candidates’ inane spousal spat started Tuesday, when Trump raged online about an ad featuring a scantily clad model photo of Melania Trump, mocking the idea that she was “your next First Lady.”
The shaming ad came from an independent anti-Trump PAC, “Make America Awesome” — but Trump assumed, incorrectly, it was Cruz’s doing.
“Lyin’ Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad. “Be careful, Lyin’ Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!” he tweeted, never explaining what exactly he meant.
TRUMP IS THE NEW JODI ARIAS, HER ATTORNEY SAYS
Cruz called Trump “#classless” in a retaliation tweet. He alsoswiped a linefrom the Aaron Sorkin-penned film "The American President" while shutting down Trump's trash talk in a CNN interview.
ALEX WONG/GETTY IMAGES
Heidi and Ted Cruz.
After day two of the martial melee, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham tried to be the voice of reason on“Today”Thursday morning.
"Hey guys, knock it off," he said.
"The world is falling apart. Man up. You've got great wives and great families...talk about things people really care about and knock this crap off."
Trump rivalMegyn Kelly chimed in too,tweetingsimply: "Seriously?"
LUPICA: Trump, Cruz should revisit Bush speech after 9/11
Jeb Bush endorses Ted Cruz, slams Donald Trump
Kasich voices hard no to running as VP for Trump or Cruz
The Weaponization of Heidi Cruz and Melania Trump
The use of wives as proxies in the struggle between the two leading
Republican contenders shows how much American conservatism has changed.
Jim Bourg / Reuters
By: Emma Green
April 24, 2016
Donald Trump has always been that guy: the one whose third wife is 26 years his junior. That guy whose side business was, for a long time, owning a beauty pageant, which allowed him inspect and smooch as many young beauties as he pleased. That guy who makes comments about being attracted to his daughter. Trump was always that guy who would tweet out an unflattering picture of some other dude’s wife next to a highly finished picture of his own, saying, “The images are worth a thousand words.”
For the lasts several days, he and Ted Cruz have been in a Twitter-based Battle of the Wives, pitting Melania and Heidi against one another in contests of appearance and virtue. It started when an anti-Trump Super PAC, Make America Awesome, pushed ads depicting a naked Melania Trump out to women in Utah. “Meet Melania Trump, your next first lady,” the ad said. “Or, you could support Ted Cruz on Tuesday.” On primary night, Trump shot back, saying, “Lyin' Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad. Be careful, Lyin' Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!” The next day, he retweeted the meme that had already circulated widely, comparing Cruz's wife to his own. Cruz replied: “Donald, real men don’t attack women. Your wife is lovely, and Heidi is the love of my life.”
Ted Cruz was also always that guy: the one who would look away as his allies circulated a naked picture of the wife of his enemy, and then suggest that “real men don’t attack women.” That guy who who stands silently by as his allies suggest that a man’s fitness for office can be measured in terms of the chastity of his wife—that her comparative purity, and his willingness to defend it, are tests of his manly authority. That guy who would suggest the only female Democratic presidential candidate in this race needs a spanking.
Both men’s supporters are using their wives as symbolic weapons, but they’re fighting toward different ends. Cruz’s allies are making a claim about propriety: That modesty and sexual demureness are virtues, especially in a woman who will represent the United States. There’s a logic to this: Mormons, who were targeted in the ad push, believe in modesty and tend to be culturally conservative. Trump is making a claim about status and power: that the beauty of his wife proves his superiority over Ted Cruz, because a man’s social standing is partly a function of his ability to compete, and win, in sexual contests. There is also a logic to this: Trump is appealing to a segment of Americans who are moved by calls to assert America’s superiority in the world and who like Trump’s real-talk, even if it makes them nervous sometimes. It’s worth noting that both of these men have wives who are accomplished in their fields: Melania has worked successfully as a model, and Heidi as a banker. But in this back-and-forth, their own independent histories are irrelevant—they have been reduced, by both sides and in different ways, to their sexual appeal.
It’s possible that Trump’s move—or Cruz’s, for that matter—will alienate some folks in their core constituencies, or perhaps some of the general electorate, but both men are performing exactly the roles they’ve had throughout this race. Both have taken risks by violating the boundaries of theoretical civility in politics—don’t allow your allies to imply that your opponent’s wife is a slut, don’t imply that your opponent’s wife is ugly—but it’s not clear that they’re bad risks, or ones that will come with negative consequences.
The interesting question here is not about the attacks themselves—these moves are perfectly predictable.
The better question is about whose norms they are violating. For sure, no ardent, progressive feminist is going to be wooed by the shameless use of a politician’s wife as an object to gain political points. And neither Trump nor Cruz seem to particularly care about winning those particular hearts. But there’s another group, who admittedly make strange bedfellows with progressive feminists, who might be turned off by the exchange of jabs about Melania and Heidi—on a taste level, if not on a level of sexual politics: cultural conservatives, the kind of religious voters who attend church regularly, don’t want Trump to be president, and don’t want to see a picture of a naked woman in their Facebook feeds. The commitment to civility in politics and public discourse, and specifically codes of acceptable and unacceptable speech designed to protect the honor of women, is a conservative commitment—it’s a hearkening back to the memory of an older time, an appreciation for the importance of manners and behavior.
If anything, this exchange—just one in a suite of outrageous and tasteless exchanges among Republican candidates this election cycle—underlines how far the Republican Party has drifted from the days of values voters and a culturally conservative base, no matter how slyly Ted Cruz tries to have his conservatism both ways. There is a large part of the American populace that can’t be accounted for in the myth of American conservatism: They are the masses that have shown up for Trump rallies and been totally unbothered by his violation of ostensibly inviolable norms of the Republican Party, with his adultery and many wives and lack of religiosity. The people who care about culturally conservative ideals—behavioral codes, speech codes, sexual codes—are still out there in America, but as Trump’s polling numbers show, they might no longer be the voters who are most powerful in Republican primaries. Cruz’s allies can send out naked pics, and Trump can tweet about how ugly Cruz's wife is, and both politicians will probably be just fine.
Still, this has had the effect of making American politics feel a bit like a hall of mirrors. Here’s the tweet that sits right below the meme of Heidi and Melania in Trump’s Twitter feed:
Donald J. Trump
"@Kj11100Me: @realDonaldTrump Donald Trump will be greater president than Ragan. Trump will set the button for morality,Christianity.
10:35 PM - 23 Mar 2016 2,375 2,375 Retweets 8,508 8,508 likes
About the Author
Emma Green is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where she covers politics, policy, and religion.
Not only does he get "called out to his face," but the best thing about this video.......Cruz doesn't hardly talk. So refreshing!
Donald Trump and Ted Cruz Continue Clash Over Spouses
Donald J. Trump during a news conference in Washington on Monday.Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times
The New York Times
March 27, 2016
Mr. Trump, the leading Republican candidate, categorically denied that he or anyone from his campaign played a role in a National Enquirer report on Friday suggesting that Mr. Cruz may have had extra-marital affairs.
The report by the magazine came after Mr. Trump threatened to “spill the beans on” Mr. Cruz’s wife, Heidi, a cryptic remark that Mr. Trump elevated on Sunday into a dark insinuation.“There are things about Heidi that I don’t want to talk about,” Mr. Trump said on ABC’s “This Week.” “You could look, but I don’t want to talk about them.”
Mr. Cruz, appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” repeated his contention that his rival’s fingerprints were on the report because it included a comment from a former Trump political adviser, Roger Stone, and because Mr. Trump is friends with the owner of the Enquirer. He called the report “garbage” and said it was “disgusting to see a candidate attacking the spouse of another” – while at the same time denying that he had anything to do with a mailing by a “Super PAC” featuring a mostly unclothed Melania Trump, Mr. Trump’s wife and a former model, that circulated in Utah before Tuesday’s primary there.
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas during a news conference at 3 West Club in
New York on Wednesday.Credit Hilary Swift for The New York Times
The warfare over spouses represents an attempt by Mr. Trump to get under Mr. Cruz’s skin, just like he did, effectively, with former rivals like Jeb Bush and Ben Carson. Mr. Trump also continues to use social media like Twitter to focus the race on personality and language rather than policy: He denied disparaging Mrs. Cruz by posting an unflattering photo of her on his Twitter page by noting that it was simply a retweet of another user’s post. He added that he would not use Twitter “very much as president” compared to his current tendency to send flurries of late-night tweets.
On “Fox News Sunday,” Mr. Cruz argued that Mr. Trump had a habit of turning to personal attacks “when he gets scared, particularly on foreign policy,” and said he was doing so now because he was “out of his depth” with recent comments like suggesting that United States pull back from NATO unless other nations pay more of the alliance’s costs. Mr. Trump repeated that view on Sunday and called NATO “obsolete” in the fight against terrorism.
Mr. Trump was also asked if he would rule out internment camps for American Muslims – an idea he has never proposed, though he has argued for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country if they are not American citizens.
“I would rule it out, but we would have to be very vigilant,” Mr. Trump said. “If we’re not very, very strong and very, very smart, we have a big, big problem coming up. We’ve already had the problem. Check out the World Trade Center, check out the Pentagon. We’ve already had the problem.”
Mr. Trump declined to take a position on a petition to allow guns at the Republican convention, contending that delegates at the high-security event risk being “sitting ducks, utterly helpless against evil-doers and criminals.” Mr. Trump said he had not seen the petition, which is aimed at candidates like himself, and that he would have to review it before commenting, although he noted he was a “very, very strong person for the Second Amendment.”
The third Republican candidate, Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who is running far behind his rivals in the race for the party’s nomination, expressed new hesitancy on Sunday to support Mr. Trump if he becomes the nominee.
“We’re going to look at it every single day, and we’ll see what happens,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “We’ve got a long way to go. I don’t want to project that he’s going to be the nominee. I don’t think he will be. And if he is – we’ll have to, I will review it every day.” Pushed by moderator Chuck Todd on whether he would back Mr. Trump, Mr. Kasich said, “I said what I said, Chuck, and I’m done talking about this subject.”
In the Democratic race, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont appeared on three Sunday shows after his sweep of caucuses in Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington on Saturday. On CNN’s “State of the Union,” he said those and other recent “landslide victories” gave him “a path toward victory” in his race against Hillary Clinton to accumulate the 2,383 delegates needed to clinch the Democratic nomination.
Mrs. Clinton holds a strong delegate lead over Mr. Sanders, but after Saturday’s caucuses, it shrunk to about 265 pledged delegates from about 300. Mrs. Clinton’s lead remains all but insurmountable because both candidates will continue accruing delegates through the final primaries in June; delegates are awarded based on each Democrat’s proportion of the total vote. Mr. Sanders would need to win extremely large landslides in California, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and other states to overtake Mrs. Clinton in pledged delegates, which even some Sanders advisers say is unlikely.
On CNN, Mr. Sanders alluded to his best-case scenario: Winning enough pledged delegates to stop Mrs. Clinton from reaching the 2,383 magic number. If that happens, Democratic Party leaders and officials who are known as super-delegates would decide the race, as they did in 2008 in the nomination fight between Mrs. Clinton and Barack Obama.
In the current race a majority of super-delegates have sided with Mrs. Clinton, but they can change their minds at any time. Mr. Sanders said he would try to win them over with polls showing he would beat Mr. Trump by larger margins than Mrs. Clinton, and with arguments that super-delegates should back him if he won their states’ primaries and caucuses.
“A lot of these super-delegates may rethink their position with Secretary Clinton,” Mr. Sanders said. “A lot of them have not yet declared, and then you’ve got super-delegates who are in states where we win by 40 or 50 points. I think their own constituents are going to say to them, Hey, why don’t you support the people of our state – vote for Sanders.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper also asked Mr. Sanders about a recent news report suggesting that the senator would only support Mrs. Clinton as the Democratic nominee if she endorsed five of his policy priorities, like a single-payer health care system.
“No, I don’t think we’ve ever framed things in that sense,” Mr. Sanders said before focusing again on his own determination to win the nomination.
Mrs. Clinton had no media interviews or campaign events scheduled for Sunday.
Find out what you need to know about the 2016 presidential race today, and get politics news updates via Facebook, Twitter and the First Draft newsletter.
Republicans/Conservatives don't think this is a concern all of a sudden?
John Boehner on Ted Cruz: 'Lucifer in the Flesh'
Why hasn’t the Texas senator managed to unite the Republican Party in opposition to Donald Trump?
It’s not complicated.
Evan Vucci / AP
David A. Graham
April 28, 2016
Former House Speaker John Boehner seems to be enjoying his retirement—and wouldn’t you, after what he went through in Washington? One reason for his buoyant mood, besides the chance to cut grass, is the opportunity to stay far, far away from Senator Ted Cruz.
Asked about Cruz during an appearance at Stanford University on Wednesday, Boehner called him “Lucifer in the flesh,” according to the The Stanford Daily.
“I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life,” Boehner added. He said he would not vote for Cruz in a general election, though he would vote for his fellow tangerine-tinted Republican Donald Trump.
It’s not news that Boehner doesn’t like Cruz, whom he has previously called a “jackass” and a “false prophet,” nor is the source of their bad blood a mystery: Cruz helped rally revolts against leadership, particularly in the House, that led to the 2013 government shutdown, and his attempts at undermining Boehner made the speaker’s life impossible, eventually driving him to retire. Temperamentally, they’re opposites, too—the sentimental, irreverent, wine-loving Ohioan and the sanctimonious, ambitious Texan.
Boehner’s comments come at an interesting time in the presidential campaign, and they seem to illuminate the moment. Earlier in the race, Republicans who’d encountered Cruz hated him so much that they seemed to prefer Trump. (“Why do people take such an instant dislike to Ted Cruz? It just saves time,” one quipped to Frank Bruni.) Then Trump went a little too far for their tastes, right around the time of his flirtation with David Duke, the white supremacist and former KKK leader, and they started to uneasily slouch toward Cruz.
The limitations of that embrace have become clear. While it seemed likely a couple weeks ago that Trump would fall short of what he needed to clinch the GOP nomination, producing a contested convention—O brave new world, in which such chaos is Republican leaders’ fondest hope!—Trump’s April 26 Northeastern sweep has shifted the ground. The entertainer now has the nomination nearly within reach. Cruz has resorted to Hail Mary strategies, including naming Carly Fiorina his “running mate” on Wednesday—a remarkable move, given that Fiorina was herself a weak candidate; that Cruz is highly unlikely to win the nomination; and that even if he captured it at convention, he might not be able to pick his running mate.
Boehner’s comments show why Cruz’s attempts to rally the Republican Party have been futile, even though his opponent is a widely loathed misogynist, ex-Democrat, loose cannon, and race-baiter. Not everyone is willing to be as blunt as Boehner, but other GOP leaders’ feelings are no secret. (Boehner said he golfs with Trump and called him a “texting buddy,” while he offered somewhat fainter praise for his fellow Ohioan John Kasich.)
The problem is that many top Republicans have already written off this presidential race, expecting that Hillary Clinton will win the White House. Amid such resignation, there’s no incentive for them to back the man they’ve served with and despise. It isn’t so much that the top GOP figures are backing Trump; he still has barely any endorsements from officeholders, and Trump’s base is an entirely different group of people. Instead, they’re just backing away slowly. Better to quietly avert your eyes from the devil you don’t know than embrace the devil you do.
John Boehner has less-than-positive things to say about Ted Cruz: ‘Lucifer in the flesh’
John Boehner isn’t exactly Ted Cruz’s biggest fan.
The former Speaker of the House candidly talked about the presidential hopeful during a Wednesday talk at Stanford University — and his opinion of the Texas Senatoraccused of being the Zodiac Killeris less than stellar.
“Lucifer in the flesh,” Boehner said,according to the Stanford Daily.“I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a b---h in my life.”
CARLY FIORINA ACCEPTS TED CRUZ'S RUNNING MATE OFFER
House Speaker John Boehner called Ted Cruz "Lucifer in the flesh" Wednesday.
Boehner, surprising no one with his blunt insults, said he wouldn’t vote for Cruz, in the off-chance the candidate becomes the republican nominee. He will, however, happily vote for Donald Trump: He is “texting buddies” with the billionaire businessman and the pair have golfed together for years, he said.
Cruz fired back at the former speaker Thursday.
“Tell me again who will stand up to Washington? Trump, who's Boehner's "texting and golfing buddy," or Carly & me?” he tweeted a day after he named ex-tech boss Carly Fiorina as his running mate.
VIEW GALLERYNew York Daily News front pages on the presidential election
JERRY SPRINGER SAYS TRUMP-CRUZ BATTLE A 'SCHOOL YARD FIGHT'
Boehner also touched on the rest of the 2016 candidates during the Wednesday night talk. He has soft spot for the third Republican still in the race, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, he said.
“[Kasich] requires more effort on my behalf than all my other friends,” he said without elaborating on what that means. “But he’s still my friend, and I love him.”
The former speaker of the house said Ted Cruz is a "miserable son of a b---h."
Boehner said he expected Trump to clench the Republican nomination, despite speculation that a contested convention could yield an unlikely candidate.
TED CRUZ MATHEMATICALLY HAS NO CHANCE OF WINNING GOP NOMINATION
And don’t rule out the possibility of an upset in the Democratic field either, the former Speaker warned. While Hillary Clinton will likely secure her party’s nomination, there’s always a chance of last-minute surprises — especially from Vice President Joe Biden.
“Don’t be shocked … if two weeks before the convention, here comes Joe Biden parachuting in and Barack Obama fanning the flames to make it all happen,” Boehner said,according to the newspaper.
Ted Cruz Announces His Losing Mate
Stephen Has Some Tips For Potential VP Candidates (Not You, Carly)
Carly Fiorina was once a pretty big fan of Hillary Clinton
2:34 p.m. ET
(Garan Santicola/Courtesy Narratively)
A lot can change in eight years — as Carly Fiorina knows. While the former Hewlett-Packcard CEO is now Ted Cruz's vice presidential nominee, Fiorina actually sung Hillary Clinton's praises back in 2008. While on the campaign trail for Republican presidential nominee John McCain, Fiorina described Clinton as "incredibly intelligent, focused, tough, determined."
"As a woman, I take great pride in the fact that Hillary Clinton ran for president," Fiorina said.
Fiorina added that, "Bold women, women in power are characterized, scrutinized differently than their male counterparts are." Fiorina has since joined the chorus of conservative voices who have accused Clinton of "playing the woman card," saying that "Hillary Clinton, first of all, calls everybody a sexist and that's not a fair game."
A representative for Fiorina clarified for CNN that the vice presidential candidate "thinks Hillary Clinton is smart and hardworking, but she also believes she is profoundly misguided on the important issues facing this country."
Watch the surprisingly different tone Fiorina had less than a decade ago, below. Jeva Lange