Ted Cruz was on Face the Nation today and alleged that the media has not only created Trump but that they are sitting on explosive information on Trump that will be released as Trump gets close to sewing up the GOP presidential nomination.
CRUZ: And all of the attacks on Donald that the media is not talking about now, you better believe come September, October, November, if he were the nominee, every day on the nightly news would be taking Donald apart. And the stakes are too high for us to risk that.
DICKERSON: The media also thought that he wasn’t going to get this far. So that’s hardly… [snort, chuckle]
CRUZ: That’s true at first, but let’s be clear, the media has given Donald Trump hundreds of millions of dollars of free advertising. When you put Donald…when every press conference is carried live on every television station and you essentially have a massive in-kind contribution from the media, that’s helped create this phenomenon. Then I think an awful lot of reporters…I can’t tell you how many media outlets I hear have this great expose on Donald, on different aspects of his business dealings or his past, but they say “you know what, we’re going to hold it to June or July, we’re not going to run it now…”
DICKERSON: You’re saying reporters have told you that…”
This, naturally, has some of the media in a tizzy:
This is dumb and makes no sense https://t.co/zgEKceIkYn
— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) March 6, 2016
I think there are a couple of things at play here. First and foremost, there should be not doubt in anyone’s mind that there is enough stuff hovering about Trump and floating in his wake to qualify as “expose” if not “bombshell.” Whether those exposes would have any effect, who knows. We’ve seen Trump has the ability to absorb hits that have killed lesser men. A year ago mocking a crippled reporter would have meant the end. We’re in an era now where one looks back on Trent Lott and Todd Akin and wonder what in the hell was the big deal. And for Chris Cillizza to seemingly assert that no reporter would hold a story for political impact, I’d simply remind him of a) George Bush’s DUI and b) Newsweek spiking the Monica Lewinsky story. In fact, the media has a vested interest in hurting GOP candidates and they participate in this type of asshattery on a regular basis.
Secondly, Cruz is doing a bit of trolling of Donald Trump, the media, and Donald Trump voters. Cruz repeated Romney’s claim that Trump refusing to release his income tax returns indicates he is hiding something (I agree, but I don’t think it is politically damaging). You can bet tomorrow morning editors across the nation will be trying to find out what these bombshells are or to develop their own. Finally, it was obvious yesterday that some degree of queasiness is beginning to afflict Trump voters. The plausible notion that they are nominating a man who has lots of skeletons may convince more than a few of them to reconsider their support.