An ad by the Ted Cruz super PAC, Stand for Truth, that criticizes Marco Rubio on immigration and implies he’s support sanctuary cities has been pulled from rotation by Media General in South Carolina. Media General owns WCBD-NBC, Charleston; WBTW-CBS, Myrtle Beach/Florence; WSPA-CBS, Greenville/Spartanburg; and WYCW-CW, Asheville.
The ad, titled “Sanctuary,” was a version of an ad the group ran in Iowa, criticizing Marco Rubio for his record on immigration. It used the December attacks on San Bernardino, Calif., to stoke fear of terrorists sneaking into the country illegally, and cited the immigration deal Mr. Rubio pushed for in Congress in 2013 as evidence he worked to “allow sanctuary cities.”
“We had our legal folks review it, and it was decided that this needed to be pulled and substituted,” Randy Ingram, the general manager of WBTW in Myrtle Beach, S.C., said, although he couldn’t recall the specifics of the legal team’s decision.
This doesn’t appreciably hurt the media buy of Stand for Truth, the spots that have been pulled will feature other ads. But it does underline how important the active support of the local political power structure is when running a state-wide campaign. Factually, it is hard to conceive of an ad that would have run without comment in Iowa but been so over the top that it offended South Carolinian sensibilities. This is the state where a state senator referred to Nikki Haley as a “raghead” and John McCain became the father of a black child.
Unless the state political elite are in your corner, no television station pulls your opponents’s ads. Especially ones that have run in other states without challenge.
What is does show is that if Ted Cruz finishes second, or if the Bush internal poll my colleague, Dan Spencer, reported on earlier today, is to be considered anything more than poppycock, or first it will be despite the efforts of the South Carolina GOP, not because of it.