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Suddenly, Ted Cruz Seems Like A Gentleman

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Suddenly, Ted Cruz Seems Like A Gentleman

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U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks at a campaign event at Lakeside Plastics in Oshkosh, Wisconsin March 25, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich

Pinch yourself, hard.

The unthinkable, the unimaginable, the impossible is happening.

People are actually feeling empathy for Ted Cruz.

What does this say about our beloved America? Into what kind of weird cosmic rat-hole have we let ourselves be dragged?

One of the coldest, most despised figures in the Senate, Cruz is endeavoring to appear human. The same snide jerk who led the costly, unpopular Republican shutdown of the government is now warming hearts for the way he rushed to the defense of his wife, Heidi.

For this Frankenstein turn of events we can thank Donald Trump.

In case you hadn’t heard, the spouses of the two GOP presidential front-runners were the hot topic in the race last week. Second were the terrorist attacks in Brussels.

The wife feud ignited when an anti-Trump super PAC republished a naked photo of Melania Trump, a former model.

Before you stop reading and go Google the picture, you should know that the anti-Trump super Pac is called Make America Awesome Again. It is run either by hapless idiots or evil geniuses.

Cruz adamantly asserts he had nothing to do with the political ad featuring the future Mrs. Trump, posing 16 years ago for the British edition of GQ magazine. The Melania photo was supposedly dredged up to target Mormon voters, who would be so offended by her nakedness that they’d turn to Cruz instead.

The idiot theory holds that some bozo working for this PAC actually stood up and said: “Hey, I’ve got a fantastic plan to stop Donald. Let’s publish a picture of his incredibly beautiful wife with no clothes on!”

However, the genius theory says this ad wasn’t really designed to stir up the Mormons. It was meant to provoke the Big Orange Trumpster.

Under any other circumstances, Trump would have been elated to see a nude photo of Melania splashed all over the media and Internet. He brags about her physical attributes to just about anyone with a microphone.

And if he had a serious brain under that teased monkey pelt on his head, he would have laughed off the ad, printed up T-shirts with the picture and started selling them at his rallies.

But no, that would have been way too cool, way too smart. Instead, Trump impulsively launched into one of his spluttering Twitter attacks, threatening to “spill the beans” about Cruz’s wife, Heidi.

Nobody knew what on Earth Trump was babbling about. Heidi Cruz is an executive at Goldman Sachs in New York, and one of her husband’s top fundraisers.

Rather, his next move was to re-tweet a nasty post by one of his followers. It was an unflattering photo of Heidi Cruz positioned side-by-side with a glamour shot of Melania. The meme caption: “No need to ‘Spill the Beans.’ The images are worth a thousand words.”

And with that Trump once again answered the question that many millions of Americans wonder daily: Could he possibly be more loathsome?

Cruz shrewdly responded by taking the high road, or what passes for a high road in this gutter-fest of a campaign:

“Donald, real men don’t attack women,” he tweeted. “Your wife is lovely, and Heidi is the love of my life.”

Aw. Meet sweet, calm, tender Ted. Where’s he been hiding all these years?

After seeing his wife coarsely mocked in public, he reacts with a gentle scold, a compliment to Mrs. Trump and reiteration of his own devotion to Heidi.

Trump ends up looking like a pig, while Cruz ends up looking almost like a gentleman.

If you’re Donald, it must feel like you’ve been schooled.

Cruz’s denials notwithstanding, he is more than slippery enough to have masterminded this whole scenario, knowing Trump would overreact in the lowest, meanest way.

That’s the genius theory — Cruz knew in advance about the nude Melania attack ad, and he threw it out there as bait.

The idiot theory says Cruz didn’t know — it was simply a campaign screw-up that turned into a golden gift.

Either way, presidential politics has entered a new rodent phase that can only drag us deeper and dirtier. November can’t come soon enough.

OK. Now go Google that silly photo if you want.

(Carl Hiaasen is a columnist for the Miami Herald. Readers may write to him at: 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, Fla., 33132.)

(c) 2016, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Photo: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks at a campaign event at Lakeside Plastics in Oshkosh, Wisconsin March 25, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich

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Carl Hiaasen

Carl Hiaasen is an award-winning journalist, commentator, and novelist. Hiaasen has worked for the Miami Herald since 1976, and his writing focuses on environmental and corruption issues in his home state of Florida.

His latest book is Skink—No Surrender (2014).

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53 Comments

  1. Dominick Vila March 29, 2016

    Incredibly, millions of Americans see nothing wrong with two presidential candidates, or their Super PACS, engaging in tabloid political strategies. Shouting insults and threats, worthy of a Middle School bully, at each other, and acting like irresponsible juveniles.
    No wonder the GOP establishment is desperately trying to figure out how to end this charade, before it destroys the party of Lincoln, and turns our democratic process into the laughing stock of the world.
    Cruz is one of the most cynical and dangerous ideologues to run for President, but he is not dumb. He is banking on Republicans in progressive states like New York and California looking for substance, responsibility, and maturity; rather than the bombast and prejudice that has characterized the GOP nomination campaign thus far.
    Whether or not he succeeds remains to be seen. Cruz is far from being an honest broker, or an innocent bystander. His religious zealotry, opportunism, record, and extreme proposals – such as patrolling American Muslim neighborhoods – should scare every American capable of rational thinking.

    Reply
    1. ChewyHopper March 29, 2016

      Do your research. There has only been one candidate who is behaving like a juvenile during this primary, and it isn’t Ted Cruz. You may not like his conservative ideology, and that is fine. Your rhetoric however is no better. A man who loves and understands the constitution, protects the religious freedoms of everyone, including those who do not share his own views. That is why we have a first amendment.

      Also, since when did patrolling ANY neighborhood become scary? I thought police presence was a good thing, and that they were there to keep us safe. Are we supposed to ignore Muslim neighborhoods, and allow No Go Zones, as they do in many places in Europe?

      Reply
      1. cpbis March 29, 2016

        Man, have you been brainwashed. Cruz is probably the most dangerous person to ever run for president. Just look at what people who have known him say about him. Look at the videos of him in high school on you tube and what those who were either his roommate or girls that knew him in college. He is a shrewd “creep” who will destroy this country. Even his fellow GOP members in Congress have warned us about hm. Wake up!

        Reply
        1. ChewyHopper March 29, 2016

          I have done my research. I’ve read and watched all the positive, and the negative coverage. I’m not going to let myself be influenced by opinions and innuendoes. Do I think Ted Cruz is perfect? No. However, I am impressed by his knowledge and experience, and the stand he has taken for his constituents. He did what he promised when he ran for senate. He is careful, and calculated, and I find that refreshing. I have examined his record and I am satisfied that he is the best hope for the future of this country. You can vote for who you like, but I will choose control over an impulsive self-centered behavior; and reduction in the size and power of the federal government, over it’s expansion.

          Reply
          1. RED March 29, 2016

            Opinions and innuendos? Wow!! I think what you meant to say is no facts will sway you from your ignorance! His record? What record the one that shut the government down and costs taxpayers billions? Yeah, that’s a real responsible record. But clearly you’re a moron who falls for all the Con speak stupidity. You the federal government is all bad, just as like the people desperately begging to be in the federal government tell you. And government should definitely small enough to make sure that the Koch Bros and the corporations are your master and there is no federal government to stop them from poisoning your water, air, & soil. All we need is the free market magic and all will be well. I mean the free market would never allow dumping chemicals straight in to the water supply just because it’s cheaper, right? Oh no, wait that’s exactly what the “free market” would do, whatever costs them less!

            Reply
          2. ChewyHopper March 29, 2016

            Maybe if you spent as much time listening to Donald Trump, and reading everything he says, as you spend on conspiracies, you would be willing to see another side. I’ve given your arguments time and energy, but I doubt you have spent as much time listening to Trump as I have.

            Reply
          3. RED March 29, 2016

            Wow! Am I to understand that you think I’m supporting or arguing for Trump? Is that what you are saying? Are you truly that lost? Wow! Just wow!!

            Reply
          4. ChewyHopper March 29, 2016

            Oh, that is a relief. At least I’m not arguing with people that don’t get engaged in politics and thought.

            Reply
          5. RED March 29, 2016

            You think the two sides are Trump and Cruz? For real? Those are exactly the same con artists who take advantage of morons, just one uses the method of appealing to ignorance and prejudice, the other appeals to ignorance, prejudice, and people with theocratic tendencies. What’s even more fascinating is that most of the “christian” folks are showing exactly how “christian” they are.

            Reply
          6. ChewyHopper March 29, 2016

            Your attack on Christianity just shows how willing you are to ‘discriminate’ when it’s someone you do not like.

            Reply
          7. RED March 29, 2016

            Hilarious!! Perfect example of the christian Cons persecution complex!!! So, my saying that people who claim to be christians are actually not is an attack on christianity? For real? Isn’t that the very basis of you christian Cons? Telling others they are not christian enough. And it shows clearly the malfunction in the brain of a Con and how their moronic minds equate someone pointing out what rotten disgusting hypocrites they are are is equal to denying people jobs or murdering the kids of a group they don’t like in the street or denying people the right to marry. ‘Cause yeah, me calling out disgusting Cons for not really being christian and adhering to the religion they claim to is the same thing! Un frigging believable!

            Reply
          8. ChewyHopper March 29, 2016

            Forgive me for misunderstanding your statements. I thought you were calling Christians ‘morons’ and ‘ignorant’, because you can’t see the appeal of Cruz for any other reason. Christians do not want a theocracy. Our founding fathers recognized that Christians were being persecuted under a government religion. The first amendment protects ALL our rights to worship or not to worship equally. Freedom of religion does not allow you to practice your religion when it infringes upon the rights of others or operates in opposition to our constitution. But in the same context, others should not force Christians to deny their beliefs, when it comes to their practices, in daily life or privately owned business, because they do not like those beliefs. If no one is being hurt, why is okay to sue a business because they won’t sell you a wedding cake? Call them bigots, and take your service else where, but don’t take their businesses away.

            Reply
          9. RED March 29, 2016

            Ok, I’m gonna skip my usual disgust for the simple minded Cons and instead try to help you and get to actually think through the ignorance you spout. So, discriminating against people in business doesn’t hurt anyone and it’s just practicing religious beliefs? Well, first if you weren’t an ignorant Con you would probably know that that is the exact same type religious argument people like you used for slavery and then segregation. And denying people goods and services based on their immutable characteristics is FRIGGING EXACTLY what discrimination is. Second, genius, how about my religion? My religion says that I should deny all services to ignorant Cons and that treating them with any dignity or respect constitutes a sin. You gonna defend my religious freedom? I doubt it because in the small world of Cons they can only fathom their own little world and beliefs!!

            Reply
          10. RED March 29, 2016

            You know it’s just shameful that people who think like you actually believe they are Americans, you are not. Anyone who argues for denying other people their rights is a shameful authoritarian and has no place in a democratic country. Feel free to head East where there are lots of folks willing to enforce their religious fantasies on people.

            Reply
          11. ChewyHopper March 29, 2016

            What religious fantasies are you saying I want to see enforced on anyone? What rights did I deny?…the right to buy a wedding cake from everyone who sells them? What I said makes me scary and non – American? Aren’t you arguing from both sides of the issue. You tell me to move to the east where religion is dictated and women don’t have rights, and you complain when a conservative suggests it would be a good idea to try to prevent the radicalization of one here.

            Reply
          12. RED March 29, 2016

            I realize it’s a fruitless and wasted effort to reason with a Con but here’s one shot. So women are denied rights in the Middle East? On what basis? Is it because of their religious beliefs? And that you don’t approve of. But you do approve of denying rights to people here in the U.S., rights like being able to participate in commerce and not being shut out because of religion. So the only difference is the group you want to deny rights to. And because you’re an ignorant you can’t fathom that reality. I’m not even gonna bother with your moronic suggestions of radicalization of that bs. Although, if we really wanted to target crazed radicals we’d have to start with the ignorant right wing Cons and all their ignorant beliefs.

            Reply
          13. ChewyHopper March 29, 2016

            I don’t want people who have immigrated here from the Middle east to be denied religious rights. If they choose to follow religious practices that don’t infringe on others constitutional rights, they have every right to. But they live in America now, and should be expected to abide by our laws. If they oppose our laws then they have every right to live in a country that it more in accordance with their own way of life, but they don’t have the right to re-write ours. As far as the Middle East…last I knew, the women of Saudi Arabia were still trying to get the right to vote, and there are many countries in that region that are not even considering giving it to them, so assuming that they are living the way they want to in accordance with their faith, might be a little naive. If they have no say in the way their rulers govern, how do you know this is their choice? But that is their country and this is ours. I am not denying you any rights, and I expect you not to try to deny me or anyone else ours.

            Reply
          14. RED March 29, 2016

            Moron!!! It doesn’t guarantee you the right to discriminate!! Just like screaming religion doesn’t give you the ability to murder someone either! Good god, are you that simple minded? Never mind, we all know the answer to that, if you weren’t simple minded you wouldn’t be a Con. You can pretend all day and live in your little magical fairy tale world and still the freedom of religion does not include the right to discriminate against people, that was decided a long time ago when morons like you used it for arguments against discriminating against African Americans. And eventually the ignorant morons who hold such backwards ignorant beliefs die out and we are better for it. Not to mention moron why aren’t you and the other “christians” refusing to serve divorced people or all sorts of other sinners? Because it’s not about religion, of course. It’s about you being an ignorant bigot and being to dumb to recognize or admit that fact.

            Reply
          15. ChewyHopper March 29, 2016

            I can’t believe how willing you are to jump to conclusions about me, and what I believe. I wouldn’t refuse to sell someone a cake, if I was in business to sell cakes. I don’t have anything against gay people getting married. I don’t think the color of ones skin makes them different inside. I resent the fact that you would assume that I do, and I’m sorry you are so angry. That does not change the fact that taking away someones business because they choose not to sell you a cake is a ridiculous outcome. No one is being physically hurt by not being able to purchase dessert. People who are offended are within their rights to call the store owners bigots, and tell their friends, family, associates and anyone else who will listen that they should take their business elsewhere. They can stand on the public street and hold up signs for all I care. You have a poor opinion of Christians, and I am sorry. Not all of us are bigots however, and many of us believe we are all equal in God’s eyes. I respect your right to feel the way you do, though.

            Reply
          16. RED March 29, 2016

            And here we see why argument with ignorant Cons is fruitless. Although you argue that you’re not bigot and would sell cakes to anyone your position that people should be able to discriminate proves that a bigot is exactly what you are. You’re too moronic and hypocritical to debate with. You try to pretend you’re not prejudiced by saying Muslims should have the same freedoms, but they should also have their neighborhoods patrolled. I realize that because you’re an ignorant Con you are incapable of recognition of how foolish and ridiculous your arguments and positions are. It’s what makes you an ignorant Con!!

            Reply
          17. ChewyHopper March 30, 2016

            No, a prejudiced person says that they should not be held to the same standards. I am willing to put my actions, and my neighborhood under scrutiny. I just don’t want to see our country wind up with the same no go zones that they have in places Europe. Police should be able to patrol any neighborhood in America. Sometimes I wonder if you read what I say like I’m yelling at you.

            Reply
          18. dpaano March 29, 2016

            So-called “evangelical Christians” are an embarrassment to real Christians in America today!!! There are many different religions in the United States, but the GOP wants to push us all into ONE religion…..shades of ISIS and the Taliban who want to turn the entire Middle East into a Muslim territory!! Seems these so-called “faith-based” politicians are attempting to do the same thing to the United States. Sorry, but I like the religion that I currently practice, and it preaches NOTHING like what the GOP is preaching!!!

            Reply
          19. ChewyHopper March 29, 2016

            No one knows what an ‘evangelical’ Christian even is anymore.

            Reply
          20. ChewyHopper March 29, 2016

            I don’t think the GOP is trying to change anyone’s religion. That would be in direct contradiction to the first amendment. I have read many ops from liberals that mischaracterize conservative beliefs though. Not that I expect you to, but it might be fun to read some opposing thought occasionally. I find that I’m sometimes surprised when I do.

            Reply
          21. dpaano March 29, 2016

            Cruz says he wants to abolish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, he wants to abolish the Commerce Department, approve the Keystone XL pipeline (although most states that it will go through have said NO), abolish the Energy Department, and get rid of the IRS, and dump Obamacare in lieu of what?. God only knows what else he wants to get rid of, but it’s scary to think of this country without these groups. The 10% flat tax that he’s talking about and getting rid of itemized deductions and charitable contributions will only add to the deficit. And this is who you want to run this country? He’ll run it right into the ground!!!

            Reply
          22. ChewyHopper March 29, 2016

            This country is already in trouble. We need to make our government accountable for it’s spending. We live within our means, and they should as well. We need to get a handle on terrorism and immigration abuses. I really believe transferring some power of the federal government back to the people would help.

            Reply
          23. RED March 29, 2016

            Wow! Sometimes ignorant Cons just encapsulate their ignorance in one short comment. So smaller government, more local control and getting a handle on terrorism and immigration, which of course you being an ignorant Con think these things come for free. But hey maybe they will if you live in North Dakota and it’s Alabama and Arkansas fighting off the terrorists!!

            Reply
          24. ChewyHopper March 29, 2016

            So…if I’m the “ignorant Con”, does that make you the ‘flaming liberal’? 😉 It sure feels like someone has been trying to roast me.

            Reply
          25. dpaano March 29, 2016

            What knowledge and experience??? He has absolutely NO foreign policy experience, and his only political job recently is as a senator…..albeit one who is not well liked by his cohorts!!!

            Reply
          26. ChewyHopper March 29, 2016

            Not being liked by ‘cohorts’ in the government happens to be a plus to me. I would like to see a little less federal government power, in the favor of more local and state control. I think they are getting a little too big.

            Reply
        2. ChewyHopper March 30, 2016

          I’ve seen all the negative articles. I’m sure every one of us have people in our past that didn’t get along with us. Look how you already feel about me, because we think differently. I have been willing to give all the candidates a chance, and check out the positive and negative articles. I like that he believes strongly, and takes a stand for our Constitution and Bill of Rights. But I’ll slap myself across the face a few times, and see if it helps. 😉

          Reply
      2. Grannysmovin March 29, 2016

        Cruz is worse this is a man who wants to rule by Theocracy, coward will not denounce his supporters who call for the death of gays, abortion doctors and democrats. This is a man who claims Democrats don’t believe in god (well we don’t believe in his god or him as god). There is no daylight between his religious extremism and ISIS, they both believe their hatred and wanting violence is gods work. Remember this false prophet believess that his god is the creator of all people, why would he make us different religions, colors, nationalities, with different ideologies and our Nations to be so different? Why would he choose one religion over another or one nation over another? Why would he than choose one individual over another (since we are all his children)? When did your god register as a republican and can I see the registration form? Is he a citizen of the United States and eligible to have a voice in the election process? So there is no mistake Cruz makes my skin crawl and he leaves a slimy trail behind him.

        Reply
      3. RED March 29, 2016

        Hehe, I love how in the dark you seem to be! Cruz is a dark lord, an evil sith, a disgusting reflection of the worst kind of people in the country. And nice job trying to defend Teddy’s completely un-Constitutional, Un-American, & immoral positions. My lord, how do you get to be so dumb? I can’t even bring myself to express the myriad of reasons you are completely in the dark and represent the most ignorant of people!

        Reply
      4. Dominick Vila March 29, 2016

        The Gestapo patrolled and secured certain neighborhoods. Is that the America you wish to have?

        Reply
        1. ChewyHopper March 29, 2016

          Please. And they say Cruz is full of Rhetoric. Gestapo? Is that what you call the police when they drive through your neighborhood?

          Reply
          1. Dominick Vila March 29, 2016

            Is that what you think Cruz suggested? Patrolling and SECURING Muslim neighborhoods is not the same as a cop driving by through a neighborhood to make sure everything was OK.
            I don’t blame you for trying to downplay what Cruz said, but I doubt too many people will accept your explanation. The best thing to do is to let it die.

            Reply
          2. ChewyHopper March 29, 2016

            Yes it is. He is just suggesting that we prevent these neighborhoods from becoming isolated, as they have in many parts of Europe. The rhetoric of the left is what is dangerous. They want you to believe that he is saying more than this and is suggesting something contrary to our first amendment. That is not the case, and that kind of incendiary commentary is what is dangerous.

            Reply
          3. dpaano March 29, 2016

            So, patrolling them non-stop doesn’t “isolate” them? Are you kidding??? If Cruz had his way, he’d put a gate across their neighborhoods and have them check in and out whenever they leave….much like the Palestinians and the Israelis do!

            Reply
          4. ChewyHopper March 29, 2016

            I did not hear him say “non-stop”. I think you are putting words into his mouth. To assume what Cruz would and wouldn’t do if he had is way, is a bit unfair, don’t you think? Perhaps you should ask him if that is what he meant, or would like to do.

            Reply
          5. ray March 29, 2016

            hell yes!

            Reply
    2. dpaano March 29, 2016

      The best part, in my opinion, is that if he has to run against Hillary…..he’ll lose big time!!!

      Reply
  2. FT66 March 29, 2016

    I don’t need to waste my precious time writing on Cruz. They guy has no chance of becoming president unless not a single Dem voter is allowed to vote.

    Reply
    1. ChewyHopper March 29, 2016

      Democrats don’t elect Republicans…Republicans do.

      Reply
      1. Grannysmovin March 29, 2016

        When Democrats don’t vote – they give the Republican nominee an advantage.

        Reply
        1. ChewyHopper March 29, 2016

          Democrats are reliable. They will vote regardless. If Republicans were as dependable, what Dems did would not matter. Republican’s just need to quit staying home.

          Reply
      2. FT66 March 29, 2016

        Whats wrong with you? Can’t you get my logic? If all elegible dems voters will go to the voting booth, Cruz doesn’t stand any chance.

        Reply
        1. ChewyHopper March 29, 2016

          I do agree with you. If Democrats show up, and Republican’s show up the way they have in the past several races, then Dems win. However, if Republican’s all come out for a change then there very well may be another outcome. Both parties seem quite divided at the moment, so this is a hard race to predict with any certainty.

          Reply
          1. FT66 March 29, 2016

            Right. It will be General Election and not mid-term election whereas Dems pull their blankets and sleep. You are going to see a huge turn out if GOP nominee will be either Trump or Cruz. That I can easily predict as it will be a No vote against them.

            Reply
          2. ChewyHopper March 29, 2016

            You are probably right….a vote against is a strong motivator, especially when you don’t have a candidate that you want to get behind. It’s made be show up for years.

            Reply
  3. RED March 29, 2016

    Personally I believe Cruz was absolutely behind this and masterminded the entire episode. Ted Cruz has proven again and again that he is very smart and has no morals. And with those two particular attributes, all possibilities open up, at least all the disgusting sleazy ones. But hey, this is what ignorant Cons want, Cruz and Trump represent the disgusting racist ignorant Republican Party.

    Reply
  4. yabbed March 29, 2016

    Cruz makes my skin crawl. He is the creepiest guy imaginable.

    Reply
  5. Darsan54 March 29, 2016

    “And with that Trump once again answered the question that many millions of Americans wonder daily: Could he possibly be more loathsome?”

    Yes. Yes, he can.

    Reply
  6. Thomas Martin March 29, 2016

    sheeeeeeeeeit

    Reply

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