February 22, 2016
A report from the student newspaper at the University of Pennsylvania ignited a presidential campaign controversy that has led to the firing of Senator Ted Cruz's spokesperson.
Here's the chain of events:
1. The Daily Pennsylvanian had staffers at a hotel Saturday in South Carolina where Senator Marco Rubio was walking through the lobby. The staffers recorded video of Rubio's encounter with Cruz's father Rafael Cruz and Cruz campaign staffer Christian Collins. In the video, Collins is reading the Bible and Rubio comes up and says "got a good book there." Then, Rubio says something else, and the original DP article included a video with captions and a quote that suggested he added, "not many answers in it." (h/t BillyPenn)
2. Rick Tyler, a spokesperson for Cruz, distributes the video, according to NBCNews.
3. The Rubio camp catches wind and quickly refutes the suggestion that Rubio was dissing the Bible. Alex Conant, a spokesperson for Rubio, tweeted that he was there and included a video of what he said was the correct transcript, which includes Rubio instead saying, "all the answers are in there."
This video has correct transcript; any other is another dirty trick by Cruz camp. How do I know? I'm in the video!! https://t.co/llZGimU5Jp— Alex Conant (@AlexConant) February 21, 2016
4. After being called out, Tyler apologizes on his Facebook page. Here's what he said:
I want to apologize to Senator Marco Rubio for posting an inaccurate story about him here earlier today. The story showed a video of the Senator walking past a Ted Cruz staffer seated in the lobby of a hotel reading his Bible. The story misquoted a remark the Senator made to the staffer. I assumed wrongly that the story was correct. According to the Cruz staffer, the Senator made a friendly and appropriate remark. Since the audio was unclear, I should not have assumed the story was correct. I've deleted the post because I would not knowingly post a false story. But the fact remains that I did post it when I should have checked its accuracy first. I regret the mistake.
5. Amid the controversy, Cruz asks for Tyler's resignation Monday morning.
6. The DP updates its original article and includes a new video without captions. In the updated article, the report does not say Rubio said "all the answers" instead of "not a lot of answers," but instead says after reviewing the audio, it is unclear exactly what Rubio said.
7. The Rubio camp responds, going easy on Tyler but slamming Cruz's "dirty tricks," vaguely referencing accusations from other GOP rivals, such as Cruz's campaign spreading a rumor that Ben Carson had dropped out of the race in Iowa.
8. Donald Trump, a graduate of Penn himself, gives his two cents, of course:
Ted Cruz has now apologized to Marco Rubio and Ben Carson for fraud and dirty tricks. No wonder he has lost Evangelical support!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2016
Just saw the phony ad by Cruz - totally false, more dirty tricks. He got caught in so many lies - is this man crazy?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2016
Ted Cruz should be disqualified from his fraudulent win in Iowa. Weak RNC and Republican leadership probably won't let this happen! Sad.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2016