PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s communications director’s resignation Monday was sparked by a video posted online by the University of Pennsylvania’s student newspaper.
It seemed to be a run of the mill interaction, a pleasantry exchanged between Marco Rubio and a Ted Cruz staffer, caught on camera and posted online by The Daily Pennsylvanian.
But this quick exchange turned into the latest controversy in Campaign 2016. In a South Carolina hotel lobby on Saturday, a Daily Pennsylvanian staffer rolled as Rubio had a few words for the Cruz worker, identified as Christian Collins, sitting with a book in front of him.
The newspaper, through a timeline of the events published on their website, first posted the video on social media without transcription Saturday morning.
Later, in the afternoon, the paper says they posted the video with transcription of Rubio saying, “Got a good book there, not many answers in it,” but they do not identify what book the staffer has in front of him. It is later revealed to be the Bible and on Sunday morning, Cruz communications director Rick Tyler shared the video on social media, saying Rubio was dismissing the religious book.
But then, the questions started to come in, many directed at The Daily Pennsylvanian. Rubio’s words, detractors argued, were not so black and white with the audio of the video unclear. The Rubio team argues their candidate was saying, “All the answers are in there.”
After initially standing by their original transcription, The Daily Pennsylvanian now says they could not make a determination of what Rubio said based on the audio. In an article about the controversy posted on its website, the newspaper’s president and editor say they are reviewing the process that led to the video being published.
Cruz says Tyler’s action was “a grave error of judgement.”
“It turned out the news story he sent out was false, but I’ll tell you even if it was true, we are not a campaign that’s going to question the faith of another candidate,” he said.
Rubio, fired back, saying, “Every single day, something comes out of the Cruz campaign that’s deceptive or untrue, and in this case goes after my faith.”