In this edition of Today in Political Attack Ads, no one is handling the mudslinging too well.
Cruz campaign asks stations to stop airing anti-Cruz attack ad
Oh, boo hoo. Politics is a blood sport. Time for everyone to put their big boy pants on and stop whining about attack ads.
Ted Cruz’s campaign sent a letter to TV stations across South Carolina and Georgia on Tuesday, demanding that they stop airing what it calls “a false attack ad” from the conservative super PAC American Future Fund that goes after the Texas senator on national security.
“The ad falsely claims ‘Cruz proposed mass legalization of illegal immigrants.’ Ted Cruz has never introduced, outlined, or supported any policy that would give legal status to illegal immigrants,” wrote Eric Brown, general counsel to the campaign, in the letter shared with the media. “Indeed, quite the opposite, Ted Cruz led the fight in Congress against legislation written by Senator Rubio, among others, that created legal permanent status for millions of people in the country unlawfully. At least two fact-checks have evaluated this claim and determined it to be false, and others found no evidence to support it.”
American Future Fund has spent heavily against Cruz in Iowa and in South Carolina, painting the senator in the latest spot as soft on immigration enforcement and “weak” on national security, including by tying him to Bernie Sanders and President Barack Obama. POLITICO reported last week that the group, which is overseen by veteran GOP operative Nick Ryan, is spending $1.5 million on broadcast and cable stations through Saturday, the day of the Republican primary.
“Cruz proposed mass legalization of illegal immigrants,” the anti-Cruz group’s spot says. “He even praised the traitor Edward Snowden. Ted Cruz’s talk is cheap. His national security record is weak.”
In its statement, the Cruz campaign urged the stations to consider their respective statuses as FCC-licensed entities in deciding whether to can the advertisement.
Attackee: Donald Trump
Attacker: Ted Cruz
So much drama over this one. Trump threatened to sue Cruz if he didn’t stop running this ad, but said he’d sue over Cruz’s eligibility to run for president. Cruz then dared Trump to sue him.
From the LA Times:
Cruz says in a new ad that Trump can’t be trusted to make a Supreme Court pick that will be conservative enough.
Trump has threatened legal action, to which Cruz responded Wednesday: Bring it on.
“Mr. Trump, you have been threatening frivolous lawsuits for your entire adult life,” Cruz said at a midday news conference in Seneca.
“If you want to file a lawsuit challenging this ad, claiming it is defamation, file the lawsuit.”
Rubio Attack Ads from Pro-Cruz group pulled by station
Rubio’s campaign also complained about PAC ads they found a little too mean for their liking.
Sayeth the lawyers:
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. It used the December attacks on San Bernardino, Calif., to stoke fear of terrorists sneaking into the country illegally, and cited the immigration deal Mr. Rubio pushed for in Congress in 2013 as evidence he worked to “allow sanctuary cities.”
“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 Sanctuary ad aired statewide on both television and digital in Iowa with no objection, receiving hundreds of thousands of views on digital,” Eric Lycan, an attorney for the group, said in a statement. He attributed it to a complaint from the Rubio campaign, and said “the ad has continued to air across the Palmetto State, and will resume on the station in question.”
Attackee: Pro-Kasich PAC
Attacker: Jeb Bush
Mud covered Jeb seems a little out of place in an ad called “Newt.”
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