Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is running for re-election, and he’s running scared. He should be. His Democratic opponent, U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, is within one point of Cruz in the latest poll, and a top Trump administration official said Cruz may lose because he’s unlikeable. If all that weren’t enough, the Senate Majority Whip has summed up the GOP’s fear of O’Rourke’s chances of taking down Cruz: “We’re not bluffing, this is real, and it is a serious threat.”
Michelle Obama famously said, “When they go low, we go high.”
Ted Cruz has just gone low. Very low.
A few weeks ago O’Rourke, who is 45 – just two years younger than Cruz but worlds apart in outlook – was asked at a town hall style event to share his thoughts on the NFL players’ silent kneeling protests.
The man who asked O’Rourke clearly was not fan of the players’ protests, but that did not stop the Democratic Congressman from launching into a well-thought out explanation for not only why he supports protesting police killings of Black people, but why it’s a very American thing to do.
And the Cruz campaign went into action.
They sliced and diced the video, and turned the question into one about flag burning – not the players’ protests – and then used O’Rourke’s remarks to make it appear that he supports burning the American flag, and thinks “there is something inherently American about that,” and is “grateful people are willing to do that.”
Those remarks were about NFL players protesting police killing Black people, not flag burning.
Tell that to the Cruz campaign.
“Congressman O’Rourke not only called burning the U.S. flag ‘inherently American’ but also said he was ‘grateful’ for those willing to commit such an act,” Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told The Dallas Morning News, in a clear lie. “His position is an appalling display of disregard to those who have put their lives on the line to preserve the very freedoms the American flag represents. Texans certainly do not share such views.”
Nor does O’Rourke, according to his spokesperson.
“O’Rourke has only spoken publicly about flag-burning once, when the congressman said he does not think anybody should burn the American flag,” The Hill reports. It calls the ad “heavily edited.”
The Dallas Morning News, which basically is Cruz’s hometown newspaper, reports the story this way: “Heavily spliced Ted Cruz video falsely depicts Beto O’Rourke saying he’s ‘grateful’ for flag burning.”
“O’Rourke did not say he’s ‘grateful’ for flag burning. Nor did he say that flag burning is ‘inherently American,'” the paper makes clear.
How can Cruz get away with this?
Here’s part of the question the man asked O’Rourke about NFL players protests:
“As a voter, I don’t know how I would feel to have my own elected representative being open to kneeling on the Senate floor or encouraging and supporting acts that desecrate our American flag.”
O’Rourke clearly was responding to the protests – which do not “desecrate our American flag.”
Tell that to the Cruz campaign.
When you choose to lie, and to lie to this degree, you’re running scared.
Ted Cruz should be scared. His vision of America, his decision to not only support but to embrace President Trump is inherently un-American. And it will cost him at the polls in November.
And if he continues down this path, it will cost him his job, too.
Watch this outrageous Cruz campaign ad, which is being run on Facebook:
And here’s the video that went viral, of O’Rourke discussing NFL players’ protests:
‘I can think of nothing more American.’ — Beto O’Rourke — the man taking on Ted Cruz — brilliantly explains why NFL players kneeling during the anthem is not disrespectful pic.twitter.com/xUGOuCFCSi
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) August 22, 2018
Hat tip: The Hill