Politico is reporting that the Ted Cruz campaign has sent a letter, through its counsel, to South Carolina television stations that are running attack ads funded by an anti-Cruz Super PAC. The basic gist of the Cruz campaign’s letter is that the ads are false, and that the stations face potential legal liability for running them:
“The ad falsely claims ‘Cruz proposed mass legalization of illegal immigrants.’ Ted Cruz has never introduced, outlined, or supported any policy that would give legal status to illegal immigrants,” wrote Eric Brown, general counsel to the campaign, in the letter shared with the media. “Indeed, quite the opposite, Ted Cruz led the fight in Congress against legislation written by Senator Rubio, among others, that created legal permanent status for millions of people in the country unlawfully. At least two fact-checks have evaluated this claim and determined it to be false, and others found no evidence to support it.”
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“Because this advertisement makes a flatly false factual claim for which your station is ultimately liable, we strongly urge you to exercise your discretion as a licensee to refuse to continue to broadcast this advertisement, and, because it is already airing, immediately pull the advertisement from your rotation,” Brown wrote.
This seems, really, to be a rehash of the apparently never-ending fight over Cruz’s actions with respect to the Gang of 8 bill, which have been rehashed pretty much ad nauseam on the campaign trail and also in every single debate. I completely understand Cruz’s position on this, but I am not sure that this tactic is really the right way to go about making his point that he actually wanted the bill to fail.
I also get that Cruz’s response is to say that Jeff Sessions credited him with stopping the bill, but I think the answer here is to put out ads touting that, rather than to try to get TV stations to stop running the ad, which will almost certainly not work.