Senator Ted Cruz, the Evangelical choice for the Republican nomination, has parted ways with his longtime campaign spokesman Rick Tyler, according to CNN. He did this because of a claim by Florida Senator Marco Rubio that he was starting to play dirty.
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"Yesterday, a staffer from our campaign sent out a tweet that tweeted a news story that purported to indicate Marco saying something negative about the Bible," Cruz said. "The news story was false. That staffer deleted the tweet, apologized, and pulled it down, although I've spent this morning investigating what happened. And this morning, I asked for Rick Tyler's resignation."
Cruz talked about the problem in front of 800 potential voters at a rally near Las Vegas. The start of the rally was delayed 40 minutes, and it is in that time that the firing was done, with Tyler walking off right before an interview.
Tyler's gaffe didn't seem like something that you could lose your job for - he posted muffled audio of Rubio joking that there were "not many answers" in the book a staffer of his was reading. That book turned out to be the Bible.
That video went viral and that's where the problem started. According to Rubio, he said that he actually answered that the Bible had "all the answers." Tyler then wrote a Facebook post apologizing to Rubio, but the damage was done.
The senator was still angry and didn't accept the apology. He said that the tweet was part of the dishonest tactics that Cruz employs in his campaign.
“Perhaps that was the most offensive one because they basically made it up," Rubio said. "People in a lobby taking a video on their phone. I know exactly what I said to that young man. I said the answer to every question you’ll ever have is in that book. And then I pointed to the Book of Proverbs, which he was reading; I said particularly that one, which is a book of wisdom.”
Rubio said that did accept Tyler's apology but then said that “at some point there was to be some level of accountability.”
Still, Tyler's firing should be a surprise. In fact, just last night the Cruz campaign allegedly wanted to use the Rubio campaign's outrage as a tool to show the hot-headedness of Marco Rubio. However, the Rubio campaign hit them in a sensitive place, and something had to be done.
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"Rick is a really good spokesman who had the unenviable task of working for a candidate willing to do or say anything to get elected," said Rubio spokesman Alex Conant in a statement to The Washington Post. "There is a culture in the Cruz campaign, from top to bottom, that no lie is too big and no trick too dirty. Rick did the right thing by apologizing to Marco. It's high time for Ted Cruz to do the right thing and stop the lies."