This all depends on how one defines what the standard of truth is for a politician. In the past couple of days, Donald Trump has been spouting off about Senator Ted Cruz having a penchant for lying about his opponents. The following are a few examples:
According to Donald Trumps own press release, he shares these comments:
“Cruz has become unhinged and is lying with the hopes that his statements will go unchecked until after the election and he will save his failing campaign.”
“Cruz says I am pro-choice, when in fact I am staunchly pro-life and have been for a long time. Like Ronald Reagan, on many issues, I have evolved.”
(Senator Ted Cruz has been using in a negative ad, a TV video interview from 1999 with Mr. Trump and Tim Russet where Mr. Trump says that he is pro-abortion. Now, Senator Cruz knows that is not Mr. Trump’s current stance but on 2/17 and in front of the press, Senator Cruz challenged Mr. Trump to file one of his frivolous suits because he cannot prevail when it is Mr. Trump’s own words in the video.)
“Cruz says I am in favor of ObamaCare, when in fact I have spoken about repealing and replacing this disaster of a system at every speech throughout my campaign and since it’s inception. Meanwhile, Cruz was responsible for getting Bush to put in the judge that failed to vote against ObamaCare twice.”
“In Iowa, Cruz told thousands of Ben Carson voters that Dr. Carson had left the race and to instead vote for Ted Cruz. He apologized when the race was over. Likewise, his fraudulent voter violation form sent to Iowa voters.”
( PolitiFact National rated Senator Cruz’s statement as “mostly false: “Ted Cruz says CNN reported Ben Carson was “taking a break from campaigning” and the Cruz campaign “forwarded that news to our volunteers.”)
(As for the fraudulent voter violation forms sent to Iowa voters, Senator Cruz did something similar around January 2012, when he was competing with David Dewhurst, for his now held U.S. Senate job. Senator Ted Cruz had handouts printed stating that his opponent had a “record of promoting an income tax.” At the time, PolitiFact rated Senator Cruz’s hand out allegation as “pants on fire false.”)
Because it is Donald Trump criticizing Senator Cruz’s for his dishonesty, there is the impulse to discount the message. After all he is the king of the birther issue regarding our president; and he still believes he saw thousands of Muslims cheering on the Jersey side of the Hudson after 9/11 happened despite all the evidence to the contrary.
While it can be almost mission impossible to separate the message from the messenger, this time Mr. Trump is right on regarding the Texan Senator. It is my own personal opinion that Senator Ted Cruz is the worst of the bunch. And in this case, the Texan Senator Ted Cruz is different. He is smart enough to know better as he calculating plans for whatever he does.
Keep in mind that Senator Cruz is a Harvard Law School grad who has clerked for J. Michael Luttig of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 1995 and for William Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States in 1996. According to his own campaign biography, he was also the former solicitor general for the State of Texas; previously having served as the director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission; an Associate Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice; and as a policy adviser on the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign. This tells me that he is more than competent to do research as to what facts he decides to share with the public.
Incidentally, Senator Cruz hates PolitiFact which penned an article on 6/30/15 by W. Gardner Selby with the headline, “Ted Cruz, new author, calls PolitiFact noxious yellow journalism.” PolitiFact’s report card on Ted Cruz deemed that 69% of his sampled, public assertions earned a rating of “mostly false” to “pants on fire false…” Only 5% of his sampled claims were rated as simply “true.”
Polifact of Texas has evaluated some of his statements which have earned a rating of “pants on fire” false. Here are a couple of Senator’s Cruz false allegations:
From PolitiFact National, the following allegation from Senator Cruz was rated mostly false: Ted Cruz says”the one person (Donald Trump) has suggested that would make a good justice is his sister, who is a court of appeals judge appointed by Bill Clinton. She is a hardcore pro-abortion liberal judge.” The last time he said this was on a TV media event on 2/17/16.
This what Politi-Fact reported on 2/16/16 by Lauren Carroll:
“Cruz is correct that President Bill Clinton appointed Barry to this post in 1999. Prior to this position, Barry was a federal judge for the U.S. District Court in New Jersey.”
“President Ronald Reagan nominated her for that post in 1983.”
“Is Barry a “hardcore pro-abortion liberal judge,” as Cruz said? Barry isn’t one for trumpeting her political views, and she has avoided talking to reporters. The New York Times wrote a profile of her in August, for example, but she declined an interview. So we’re limited in what we know about her politics.”
We think Cruz is referring to the fact that Barry wrote the majority opinion in a 2000 panel ruling that found a New Jersey law banning partial-birth abortions to be unconstitutional.
“It is clear that the Act is unconstitutional because it creates an undue burden on a woman’s right to obtain an abortion,” Barry wrote.”
“An interesting tidbit: Current Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, a conservative George W. Bush appointee, was also a Third Circuit judge at the time. He heard the partial-birth abortion case, too, and sided with Barry, arguing that the Supreme Court had ruled similar bans unconstitutional. So it seems a bit unfair to pin Barry as “hardcore pro-abortion” based on this case alone.”
On the early evening of 2/17/16, Chuck Todd of MSNBC News announced that a new national poll published by NBC News/ The Wall Street Journal, show that Senator Ted Cruz is now leading in the national polls. He is ahead of Donald Trump by 2 points. This poll was done soon after the 2/13/16 Republican debate.
Having Donald Trump fall in the polls will be welcome news to those who do not admire his demeanor and / or his policy positions. But there is someone who could win who is a worse candidate, and this is Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).
NOTE: The most recent polls, taken days after the debate, are still showing Donald Trump leading by double digit numbers in the states of South Carolina and Nevada.