A sneak preview of the new, more presidential Trump. He once said, “All I know is what’s on the Internet,” but that’s not true. Some of the stuff he knows is in the National Enquirer, which endorsed him before running that hit piece on Cruz last month claiming that he had multiple affairs, no evidence of which has ever come out. Trump and the paper’s owner are old friends. Go figure. Assuming Team Trump is behind both stories, I wonder if they’re taking this stuff to the Enquirer first or as a last resort only after more respectable papers refuse to bite. With most politicians, I’d guess the latter. With Trump, maybe he prefers the Enquirer because he thinks it’s a better pipeline to his fan base.
Here’s the background on the Enquirer story if you’re interested. The entirety of the evidence consists of an old photo of Oswald and a mystery man together at a pro-Castro protest a few months before the assassination. Could it be Rafael Cruz, who openly admits he supported Castro for a time as a younger man? Er, no, probably not, but it’s a short logical hop and skip from “This guy in this old picture looks like Cruz’s father” to “This guy must be Cruz’s father” to “Cruz’s father must have been an accomplice in the JFK assassination,” which is what Trump’s obviously implying here. This is who Republican voters chose this year in a field of 17 candidates.
That’s not the worst thing he says, though. Watch his reaction to Rafael Cruz talking about how voting for Ted is voting according to the word of God. Trump: “I think it’s a disgrace that he’s allowed to say it.” That he’s allowed to say it? The only thing worse than a crank is a crank with a censorship streak.
At what point in the sequence of insults aimed at Cruz’s family, starting with his wife and now extending to his father, does Cruz decide that he’s not going to support this guy in the general election? Does Trump need to take a shot at his daughters too? Cruz is desperate to protect his viability for another run for president down the line and doesn’t want to make enemies of Trump’s fans, but the price of that is getting steep in terms of personal pride. Maybe tonight’s the night for him to go #NeverTrump in his concession speech. Or, if he won’t do that, I suppose he could always fight tabloid fire with fire.