The cancellation came after hours of bad press for Cruz. After conservative reporter Byron York probed the story, and the question of whether Cruz was telling gay voters something he would not tell social conservatives, the Cruz campaign issued a statement firing back.
“A conservative Republican who is willing to meet with individuals who do not agree on marriage and who loves his daughters unconditionally may not reflect the caricature of conservatives promoted by the left, but it’s hardly newsworthy,” Cruz said. ”I know it’s been a long time since we’ve seen it, but this is what it means to truly be a ‘big tent Republican’ instead of a panderer.”
The irony is that the gay backlash to Cruz’s hosts might engender sympathy with gay marriage opponents. Cruz spent Friday afternoon talking off the record to pastors in Nevada; he would spend Saturday evening at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “spring kick-off.” He was already entering those rooms as the sponsor of legislation that would allow states to ban gay marriage, no matter what the Supreme Court decided this year. Now, he’d be the latest veteran of a culture war waged by gay rights activists. First they came for Brendan Eich, the former CEO of Mozilla. Then they came for the Memories Pizza restauranteurs in Indiana. And then they came for Weiderpass and Reisner and Cruz.