This morning the Politico came out swinging at Ted Cruz with the headline “What Ted Cruz said behind closed doors” as if to suggest it would be different from what he says publicly:
In June, Ted Cruz promised on NPR that opposition to gay marriage would be “front and center” in his 2016 campaign.
In July, he said the Supreme Court’s decision allowing same-sex marriage was the “very definition of tyranny” and urged states to ignore the ruling.
But in December, behind closed doors at a big-dollar Manhattan fundraiser, the quickly ascending presidential candidate assured a Republican gay-rights supporter that a Cruz administration would not make fighting same-sex marriage a top priority.
In a recording provided to POLITICO, Cruz answers a flat “No” when asked whether fighting gay marriage is a “top-three priority,” an answer that pleased his socially moderate hosts but could surprise some of his evangelical backers.
In fact it wasn’t a ‘flat no’ as Politico says if you listen to the audio:
Here’s the transcript for those of you on mobile devices:
Male questioner: “Can I ask you a question? So, I’m a big supporter. And the only issue I really disagree with you about is gay marriage. And I’m curious: Given all the problems that the country’s facing — like ISIS, the growth of government — how big a priority is fighting gay marriage going to be to a Cruz administration?”
Cruz: “My view on gay marriage is that I’m a constitutionalist and marriage is a question for the states. And so I think if someone wants to change the marriage laws of their state, the way to do so is convince your fellow citizens — and change them democratically, rather than five unelected judges. … Being a constitutionalist is integral to my approach to every other issue. So that I’m very devoted to.”
Same questioner: “So would you say it’s like a top-three priority for you — fighting gay marriage?”
Cruz: “No. I would say defending the Constitution is a top priority. And that cuts across the whole spectrum — whether it’s defending [the] First Amendment, defending religious liberty, stopping courts from making public policy issues that are left to the people. …
“I also think the 10th Amendment of the Constitution cuts across a whole lot of issues and can bring people together. People of New York may well resolve the marriage question differently than the people of Florida or Texas or Ohio. … That’s why we have 50 states — to allow a diversity of views. And so that is a core commitment.”
But even more than it not being a ‘flat no’, Politico even makes a stunning admission that basically makes the point of this entire article moot:
“While Cruz’s private comments to a more moderate GOP audience do not contradict what the Republican Texas senator has said elsewhere…”
Politico is basically trying to make an article out of what they are deeming as nuance, using that to suggest that Cruz is saying something a little different privately than he says to voters when that’s absolutely not the case.
Cruz responded today in a press conference where he said the secret tape contains nothing different than he’s said on TV over and over again and that he finds it amusing that advisors from other campaigns would seize on this to suggest it’s devastating for his campaign:
Mike Huckabee is one of the ones jumping on this, saying in a statement:
“Conservatives are being asked to ‘coalesce’ around yet another corporately-funded candidate that says something very different at a big donor fundraiser in Manhattan than at a church in Marshalltown. Shouldn’t a candidate be expected to have authenticity and consistency, instead of having to look at a map to decide what to believe and what to say?
“One reason I do respect Trump is that whether you agree with him or not, he doesn’t pretend with his principles or change his message depending on his location or audience. If issues like marriage and the sanctity of life are truly issues of principle and not just politics, then there should not be geographical boundaries to what is right and wrong.”
As Allahpundit points out at Hot Air, “On what planet is Donald Trump, former Democratic donor, a model of ideological principle and consistency? Because it’s not this one.”