ELDER PATRIOT – Yesterday, as questions about Ted Cruz’s infidelity continued to plague him, a Daily News reporter gave him a chance to put the allegations to rest once and for all when he asked him point blank, “can you say you’ve never been unfaithful to your wife?” Cruz refused to answer the question directly.
Making matters worse was Carly Fiorina, who is old enough to be Ted Cruz’s mother, taking over the microphone rather than letting Ted answer for himself.
By now everyone is convinced that Cruz is guilty of infidelity but the optics of Carly Fiorina inserting herself into Cruz’s personal mess is what’s likely to haunt Cruz moving forward.
Campaigns have been destroyed by less than this.
In 1988 presidential candidate Michael Dukakis tried to convince Americans he would be tough in defending the nation in an attempt to counteract his career record of opposing virtually every defense system that the Reagan administration had proposed. He ran an ad that featured him riding in a tank. Unfortunately for Dukakis the helmet that was provided for his use was too large and he came off looking like a bobble head doll and the primary purpose of the ad – to make him look strong – was undermined.
There is no surviving video of his helmet bouncing around on his head.
In 2004 John Kerry visited NASA where he was photographed wearing a “bunny suit.” It’s a protective coverall that made Kerry look like a sperm. Kerry had been battling the perception that he couldn’t connect with the people and that he was uncomfortably stiff when trying to act like he was one of them. The pictures that were circulated following his NASA visit only furthered this perception of Kerry and might have been responsible for the narrow margin he lost to George Bush by that November.
Central to these epic fails is the correlation of the message to the very essence of whom the candidate is trying to portray himself as.
For Cruz the events yesterday were a double whammy. Having staked out a holier-than-thou position among evangelicals, Cruz’s non-denial puts him in the company of Jimmy Swaggart as a “leader” who doesn’t practice what he preaches. This leaves him looking like the hypocritical establishment politicians rather than the conscientious reformer the people are demanding.
Even more damaging was the image of Cruz hiding behind mommy Carly. It made him look weak and only added to the belief that when Cruz is guilty of anything, from campaign dirty tricks to personal misbehavior, he lets others take the blame or answer for him. This can’t accrue to his benefit at a time Americans are looking for strong, honest leadership to turn back the damage done to them by the Washington cartel.
In her desire to shield Cruz from fielding an uncomfortable question, Carly Fiorina rendered him a little boy hiding behind mommy’s apron strings. That Cruz didn’t recognize this and rip the microphone from her does not help him. Above all Americans demand strength in their presidents.