The Truth Behind Ted Cruz’s Lies

The Daily Beast – by Ana Marie Cox

Oh happy day—freshman Texas Senator Ted Cruz is set to announce that he’s running for president. And he’s not going to announce at the Alamo or any other defiant Texas-type monument. He’s making a pilgrimage straight to the birthplace of the Moral Majority, the Jerry Falwell-founded Liberty University. The setting makes sense for a man who believes that God has called him to politics. After all, the only way to top shutting down the government is to try to run the government into the ground himself.  

This month, Cruz released a short video that’s the best evidence yet for what a Cruz presidential campaign might be like. It’s called “A Time for Truth,” and the title has to be intentional irony.

Cruz’s Politifact track record for publicly-asserted falsehoods is the second-highest among front-runners, totaling 56 percent of all statements they’ve looked at. The only other leading contender with a higher rating is Ben Carson, who has a 100 percent “pants on fire” history, the result mainly of his brief time in the national spotlight and only having given Politifact one assertion to check—that people choose to be gay. (The investigative process on verifying that claim could have been entertaining, had Carson taken up Dan Savage’s invitation to take a very personal version of the Pepsi Challenge. Politifact chose a less experiential approach.)

It’s not just Cruz’s habit of embellishment that makes the video’s title more wish-fulfillment than description. One would expect a video entitled “A Time for Truth” to contain, you know, truth. Or calls to speak the truth, at the very least. Cruz’s infomercial, on the other hand, is simply a collection of Cruz clips wherein he apparently confuses speaking the truth with speaking very dramatically and forcefully. It is the Ugly American approach to foreign language in moral form.

Watch as Cruz loudly proclaims he will stand up for various things! He also asks for others to stand up for things! It’s a tic in the vernacular of the evangelical subculture Cruz hails from to think of extravagantly passionate sincerity as evidence of honesty and probity. So perhaps Cruz’s substitution of one for the other is not an intentional bait-and-switch.

Let’s indulge a thought experiment: What if, in all those cases where Cruz’s passionate sincerity has been found to be trustworthy, he meant what he said at the time?

We take it for granted that politicians lie to gain votes, to make themselves more appealing, or to make someone else look bad. But what if Cruz wasn’t craven, but instead as sincere as he sounds. What would that mean?

There are objective falsehoods that show Cruz could just be looking at a different set of data. Other, more telling whoppers show that Cruz isn’t just looking at different data, he’s living in a different universe.

The former category contains his insistence that there’s no such thing as global warming. The latter kind of lie is why Cruz can look a child in the eye and tell her the world is on fire. 

Multiple news organizations have found fault with this standard refrain from his stump speech: “There are 110,000 agents at the IRS. We need to put a padlock on that building and take every one of those 110,000 agents and put them on our southern border.” There are not 110,000 agents at the IRS. There aren’t even that many employees. There are about 82,000, of whom about 14,000 are agents.

But that’s just a fact-check of the first sentence; what about the underlying notion that there’s some kind of equivalence between what accountants do and the kind of peacekeeping one might need at the border?

The most generous interpretation might be that Cruz thinks we’re not keepingtrack of our immigrants; more paperwork is in order. (True enough!) The spookier option is that he thinks IRS agents are as militarized as your local police force, and they would be the group to finally wrest “100 percent operational control” (an Orwellian-sounding metric Cruz often invokes but never explains) in the region.

Cruz’s fantasy life, understandably, gets warmer and fuzzier closer to home. Take his version of the aw-shucks, I-don’t-deserve-her, backhandedly condescending marital anecdote that male candidates are required to have. It casts his decision to run for Senate as a moment of unexpected validation:

He recalled saying to his wife in the weeks before his Senate primary, when he was still behind in the polls, “Sweetheart, I’d like us to liquidate our entire net worth, liquid net worth, and put it into the campaign.”

“What astonished me, then and now, was Heidi within 60 seconds said, ‘Absolutely,’ with no hesitation,” said Mr. Cruz, who invested about $1.2 million—“which is all we had saved,” he added—into his campaign.

Heidi Cruz herself recalls the conversation differently. There was no movie-friendly smash cut “absolutely,” or even assent. Rather, she told Politico, she “wanted him to raise money from elsewhere first, to show that the support was out there.” And even then, “She proposed that they not put their own cash into the campaign unless it made the difference between winning and losing.” That’s sort of the opposite of an instantaneous absolutely: a hesitant and conditional maybe.

Maybe Ted’s version is just the kind of face-saving white lie we tell ourselves to preserve harmony in a relationship. After all, it’s easier and healthier than nursing a grudge. Or, in Cruz’s mind, a hesitant and conditional maybe, if it relates to something he wants bad enough, is enthusiastic agreement.

This is delusion would explain almost everything Ted Cruz does.

That would explain Cruz’s misguided belief that a wide swath of Americans want to repeal Obamacare. It would explain his quixotic crusade against the country’s growing support for marriage equality. It would make sense, even, of his run for the presidency.

Cruz, after all, is a “top-tier” candidate mostly in terms of name recognition. While he’s an extremely popular speaker at base-flaming events such as CPAC (where he finished third in the easily gamed Straw Poll), wider swaths of GOP voters are not as kind. Even among the notoriously conservative Republican Iowa caucus-goershe’s in single digits. In the even narrower category of self-identified Iowa Tea Partiers, he has only 10 percent of the vote, trailing Ben Carson (11 percent), Rand Paul (15 percent) and flavor of the month Scott Walker (33 percent).

To be fair, most politicians who run for president have some strain of the megalomania that seems to infect Cruz. Almost every politician who runs for president needs to have that curious mental twist, an ego like a funhouse mirror. Otherwise, no one except those already likely to win would run. Ask some liberal Democrats how they feel about that scenario.

But the most successful politicians seem to leaven self-importance with data. Obama’s 2008 victory over the inevitable Hillary Clinton is often painted in terms of pure marketing, but it was number-crunching that made the difference in the nitty-gritty days of the final states. Bill Clinton often looks like an example of sentiment prevailing over smarts, but his career’s lows reflect the times when he didn’t turn off the charm.

Tell the truth, Ted Cruz says. Just don’t try to get him to be honest with himself.

5 thoughts on “The Truth Behind Ted Cruz’s Lies

  1. Why does “The Daily Beast” overlook the glaring fact that Ted Cruz was not born in the U.S.A., and therefore, cannot run for president?

    Very simple. The Daily Beast is obviously one of those Zionist-owned “alternative media” outlets that shovels the same crap as the TV.

    “….Cruz’s misguided belief that a wide swath of Americans want to repeal Obamacare.”

    Are they implying here that Americans are in favor of Obamacare? I certainly haven’t met anyone stupid enough to think it was a good idea, but the Daily Beast seems to think Americans support it.

    “….. crusade against the country’s growing support for marriage equality…”

    And nor have I noticed any “growing support” for the perversion referred to here as “marriage equality,” but the Daily Beast would like to promote that Zionist goal, too.

    Please call your “representatives” and remind them of the law in this country. Ted Cruz CANNOT be president, and as Americans, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to grow accustomed to foreigners holding that office, unless you’re looking forward to Willie Wetback running four years from now.

    We’ve already grown accustomed to politicians lying to us, and that’s why the Daily Beast can expose a few lies of someone they’re actually supporting. There’s endless mud-slinging that get’s ignored in every election. Say what you like… just don’t forget the name.

    1. McCain wasn’t born in the US either, but he got to run for prez…and most likely Obama wasn’t born here either, and he is prez…

      Agree, Jolly, but since when does anything lawful matter in a nation as lawless as the corporate UNITED STATES OF AMERICA?

  2. Jolly Roger is correct, Ted Cruz is NOT eligible to run for president. His lawyer (liar) has stated that he is eligible because his mother (“parent”) is a natural born citizen. The Constitution says “parentS”. That means both of them. Apparently it depends on what Cruz’s definition of S is. If Cruz has a clear understanding of our Constitution, and he better have, then he is choosing to accept his lawyers claim even though he is aware that it is erroneous. That makes him no better than the slippery eel we are dealing with already. Obamacare is a travesty and to have the traitorous RINO’s rush to appease us by claiming they will repeal Obamacare in it’s entirety while planning to replace it with Obamacare in it’s entirety, but calling it something else, is an even bigger travesty. These railroaders refuse to recognize that we don’t want it replaced; we want it gone and then the government to butt out. As for “marriage equality”, what a communist joke. The purpose it to destroy our values and traditions the same way illegal immigration is meant to obliterate America. Considering the Daily Beast ignored the real strike against Cruz, one can only assume that the masses are meant to jump in there and defend him on the Obamacare/marriage equality issues, thereby supporting him. Not gonna happen. We need to put a stop to the assault on our Constitution now. Legitimizing Cruz’s run for president by way of the illegitimate fraud holding our highest office hostage now may very well put Willie Wetback in office in four years. Or worse yet…another Hussein.

    And while I’m at it, please put the Post Comment box below the security question. If you are following instructions you will automatically hit Post Comment BEFORE getting to the Security Question and thereby have your entire comment whisked away to the NeverNever.

  3. This saddens me. Do you realize how many military personnel have children out of this country? By your standards none of these children are naturalized American citizens. It really pisses me off that you think I am not a citizen of this country because my American military father married my German mother, and I was born in Germany. I am as American as you!! I am not a German American, I am AMERICAN. Not even your opinion can change that.

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