Daily Beast: Rubio allies shopped Cruz affair rumors to the media

Man, this is going to make the inevitable “Rubio endorses Cruz” photo op next week awkward — unless it torpedoes the possibility of an endorsement altogether. Better that it comes out now than after the Cruz/Rubio “unity ticket” forms, eh?

It may very well be that Trump’s allies handed the story off to the Enquirer, say Betsy Woodruff and Asawin Suebsaeng, given Trump’s chumminess with CEO David Pecker. But Rubioworld was there first.

For months and months, anti-Cruz operatives have pitched a variety of #CruzSexScandal stories to a host of prominent national publications, according to Republican operatives and media figures. The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg News, Politico, and ABC News—reporters at all those outlets heard some version of the Cruz-is-cheating story. None of them decided to run with rumors. Those publications’ representatives all declined to provide on-the-record comments when The Daily Beast reached out for this article.

Breitbart News, the notoriously Trump-friendly conservative outlet, was also pitched the story of Cruz’s extramarital affairs, according to a source close to the publication. That source said an operative allied with Marco Rubio—but not associated with his official campaign—showed the publication a compilation video of Cruz and a woman other than his wife coming out of the Capitol Grille restaurant and a hotel on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But the outlet opted not to report on the video, which demonstrated no direct evidence of an affair.

“We got it from a Rubio ally,” said the source. “It was too thin, so [Breitbart’s Washington political editor Matt Boyle] decided not to run it. There was no way to verify the claims.”

Why didn’t any big media outlets push the story? They must have investigated. A sex scandal involving the man endorsed by many of America’s most prominent evangelical leaders likely would have detonated Cruz’s campaign on impact. Some conservatives, ever suspicious of the media’s motives, will probably argue that they’re holding off on publishing what they’ve found until after Cruz clinches the nomination, ensuring an easy victory for Hillary in November. I don’t know. The media CW lately is that no one but no one would fare more poorly in the general election than Trump. If he’s a pushover for Clinton then the media should be looking to kill Cruz now, to eliminate any chance of him beating Trump at the convention. And big media’s motives don’t explain why Breitbart, which is famously pro-Trump and anti-Rubio, would have sat on the rumors too. The simplest explanation may be the correct one: There’s just not enough beyond mere rumor to substantiate an accusation, which is why the story had to be farmed out to the National “Scalia Assassinated By A Mexican CIA-Backed Hooker” Enquirer.

Incidentally, what Ace says here is true. I never heard the rumors about Cruz being shopped by Rubioworld but I did hear nasty rumors about Rubio, which I didn’t (and don’t) believe. Interesting, though, how one set of rumors goes mainstream while another doesn’t.

A few weeks ago there were claims-about-claims about Marco Rubio.

Not only did I not mention them, it never even occurred to me to mention them. Not even on my f*cking radar. Not even on the list of possibilities.

There are sociopaths in our party. Sociopaths are attracted to politics, because it gives them license for cruelty under the alleged justification that “it’s all for the greater good” and “it’s just politics.”

There may be no one in Congress more disliked on both sides of the aisle than Cruz. Democrats hate him, establishment Republicans hate him, and yet no one’s been able to find the dirt that’ll end his career and send him packing back to Texas? Another reason to doubt the rumors, at least insofar as they include Trump spokesman Katrina Pierson: Why would Pierson say they’re false unless they really are false? She could all but clinch the nomination for her boss by telling the media, truthfully or not, that she and Cruz really did have an affair. Cruz could go on denying it but some voters would believe her, not him. He’d lose votes for sure. Instead Pierson’s been as adamant as Cruz has in saying the Enquirer story’s not true. Again, the simplest explanation — that she’s telling the truth — is most likely the correct one.

Trump supporter Michael Savage told his radio audience today that he has it on good authority that the Enquirer story is false. He went so far as to say that if Trump doesn’t disavow it, he might not continue to support him. Click here to listen.