The Washington Post reported today that “Push Poll” calls were made in South Carolina today attacking Marco Rubio and Donald Trump, and that some say the calls can be traced to a firm started by Ted Cruz ’s Campaign Manager.
The Cruz Campaign denies they are behind the calls. . . . .
— Alex Conant (@AlexConant) February 11, 2016
From the Washington Post:
Barrett said she found the call — which continued to say negative things about Rubio before taking shots at Donald Trump for being a supporter of eminent domain — to be “negative” and “unfair,” but she couldn’t figure out right away who it was from. The voice said the poll was conducted by some place called Remington Research.
She told her Rubio-supporting friend about the call; her friend told the campaign. They said they knew exactly what Remington Research was: a consulting firm started by Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign manager, Jeff Roe.
“These tactics are becoming all too common in this race and indicative of our opponents’ campaigns that are willing to say or do anything to win an election,” Rich Beeson, Rubio’s deputy campaign manager, said. “This is nothing more than a deliberate effort to peddle false information in the hopes of deceiving voters.”
But, of course, nothing is that simple in politics.
“We’re not doing any robo-polls in South Carolina,” said Chris Wilson, Cruz’s director of research. “It’s not us making those calls. Anyone can make those calls as Remington Research to screw with reporters and make Jeff look like he’s doing something.”
This, in a nutshell, is South Carolina a week before the highly contested Republican primary: a cloudy tincture of desperation, paranoia and umbrage, with plausible deniability for everyone. It’s a mad scramble to make every other candidate look bad, either by playing dirty or accusing an opponent of playing dirty.
GOP front-runner Donald Trump weighed in on the scandal:
— Donald (@TrumpsMomentum) February 12, 2016
We are getting reports from many voters that the Cruz people are back to doing very sleazy and dishonest "pushpolls" on me. We are watching!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2016
Someone, please tell me what’s going on here! Does Cruz know what’s going on inside his campaign? Is this Cruz’s campaign manager Rick Tyler footprint on this mess?