[caption id="attachment_273091" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at the Carolina Values Summit at Winthrop University Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, in Rock Hill, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)[/caption]
Donald Trump's campaign manager made a big deal yesterday about the Trump campaign pulling an negative ad directed at Ted Cruz:
Donald Trump is pulling an ad hitting Ted Cruz for his stance on immigration and replacing it with a positive spot in South Carolina.
"Right now we are running a positive campaign for Mr. Trump," campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told CNN.
The Trump campaign has relied almost exclusively on "earned media" coverage of his rallies on live television and phoned-in interviews to cable shows to build his name as a contender. But he bought time on-air against Cruz last month when the Texas senator emerged as a threat.
The new positive spot features Trump supporters delivering testimonials supporting Trump's message and lacks much of the negativity that has been a hallmark of Trump's campaign.
The spot also hit Cruz for being a "Washington insider" and for the non-troversy over Ben Carson's failed campaign not folding after Iowa.
I suspect the decision to pull the ad had more to do with its ridiculousness, even by the very low standards of the Trump campaign when it comes to douchebaggery, than by any desire to set a high moral tone. Trump is, after all, the first candidate for president, from a major political party, in history to refer to an opponent as a "pussy" at a campaign rally.
The Cruz campaign, however, is hitting Trump for being sleazy. This, as you may imagine, is a big, fat, slow moving target.
CRUZ: I’m Ted Cruz and I approve this message.
VO: Vera Coking's home was all she had left but it stood and Donald Trump's way and the limousine parking lot he wanted for his casino. To him she was a nobody so Trump schemed with Atlantic City government to force Coking from her home using eminent domain.
INTERVIEWER: “You’re bullying these people out because…”
TRUMP: “Excuse me, this is a government case this is not Donald Trump…”
INTERVIEWER: “Yes, it’s Donald Trump. It's you and your cronies in government working together”
VO: Public power. Private gain.
TRUMP: “I offered her a lot of money out of this, a little thing called heart.”
COKING: Heart? He doesn’t have no heart, that man.
VO: Trump bankrolled politicians to steamroll the little guy. A pattern of sleaze stretching back decades. Worst Trump still support eminent domain today.
INTERVIEWER: Do you support taking private property for private use?
TRUMP: I am for that. Eminent domain is wonderful. Yes, we have to use the power of eminent domain.
VO:Trump uses power for personal gain. Imagine the damage he could do as president.
Even so, the Cruz camp went easy on Trump. They didn't mention the lengthy list of failed business ventures, the small vendors forced into insolvency because Trump declared bankruptcy, his serial adulteries and infidelities. And on and on. If Cruz is going to hit Trump for being sleazy he's going to have to hire a lot more folks to write his ads.