Daily Beast: Rubio allies, not Trump, peddled rumors of Cruz affairs

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gop-debate-rubioOn Friday, the Internet exploded after the tabloid National Enquirer alleged that GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz engaged in as many as five extra-marital affairs.  Cruz blamed front-runner Donald Trump, calling him “Sleazy Donald,” but, the Daily Beast said Friday, it was allies of former presidential candidate Marco Rubio who spread the rumors, and they’ve shopping them around to media outlets for a while.

“A half-dozen GOP operatives and media figures tell The Daily Beast that Cruz’s opponents have been pushing charges of adultery for at least six months now—and that allies of former GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio were involved in spreading the smears,” the outlet said.

Asawin Suebsaeng and Betsy Woodruff added:

For months and months, anti-Cruz operatives have pitched a variety of #CruzSexScandal stories to a host of prominent national publications, according to Republican operatives and media figures. The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg News, Politico, and ABC News—reporters at all those outlets heard some version of the Cruz-is-cheating story. None of them decided to run with rumors. Those publications’ representatives all declined to provide on-the-record comments when The Daily Beast reached out for this article.

The story was also reportedly pitched to the Trump-friendly Breitbart.com, but the outlet did not report it due to lack of evidence.  Some have suggested that Ben Shapiro dumped the story to protect Cruz, but, the Daily Beast said, it was Breitbart’s Washington political editor Matt Boyle who made the decision, citing one source:

“We got it from a Rubio ally,” said the source. “It was too thin, so [Breitbart’s Washington political editor Matt Boyle] decided not to run it. There was no way to verify the claims.”

Note to detractors: Verifying claims is what journalists are supposed to do, not act as transcriptionists for every conspiracy theory that gets floated.

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Still, the Daily Beast didn’t let Trump off the hook completely:

You can’t blame Cruz for seeing Trump’s tiny fingerprints on the story—and it’s fully plausible that the mogul or one of his allies (rather than a Rubio booster) gave the story to the tabloid. After all, the supermarket tabloid is, for all intents and purposes, the Trump Train’s caboose.

According to the report, the Cruz campaign has been aware of the rumors for some time.

“A Rubio spokesman wasn’t immediately available for comment,” the Daily Beast said.

Gee, I wonder why…

Of course, we all know who this ultimately benefits, right?


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