Friday, March 25, 2016 9:35 pm
*Accuses Donald Trump for planting story
Republican Ted Cruz on Friday denounced an article in the National Enquirer tabloid claiming he had extramarital affairs as “garbage, complete and utter lies” and accused his opponent Donald Trump of being the source of the story.
“It’s tabloid smear, and it is a smear that has come from Donald Trump and his henchmen,” Cruz told reporters at a press conference in Wisconsin, as the battle for the Republican presidential nomination reached new levels of personal rancour.
Trump issued a statement saying he was not responsible for the article.
“I have nothing to do with the National Enquirer and unlike Lyin’ Ted Cruz I do not surround myself with political hacks and henchman and then pretend total innocence,” Trump said in the statement.
“Ted Cruz’s problem with the National Enquirer is his and his alone, and while they were right about O.J. Simpson, John Edwards, and many others, I certainly hope they are not right about Lyin’ Ted Cruz.”
As they battle to represent the Republican Party in the Nov. 8 presidential election, Cruz said the story was evidence that Trump is unfit to be president. “This man would be an embarrassment,” Cruz said.
The National Enquirer, a tabloid known for its gossip and unflattering celebrity photos, published blurred images of five women with whom it said Cruz has had affairs. The newspaper did not name the women.
Cruz is married to Heidi Cruz, who was campaigning with him on Friday. Cruz gave his wife a hug and kiss before he began the town hall event, and she sat off stage smiling while he spoke.
The article exploded on the social media site Twitter overnight on Thursday. By Thursday afternoon, #CruzSexScandal was a worldwide trending topic on Twitter.
Two women who appeared to be pictured in the Enquirer stepped forward on Friday and called the article false.
Trump and Cruz have sparred in recent days about their respective wives. Earlier this week Trump accused Cruz of posting a nude photo of Trump’s wife, Melania, on Twitter. Trump responded by threatening to “spill the beans” on Cruz’s wife.
This isn’t the first time a politician has been accused of having an affair.
During the 1992 campaign, Gennifer Flowers came forward to detail an affair she had with Bill Clinton while he was running for president. Subsequently, more women admitted to having affairs with him, including then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Former Colorado Senator Gary Hart, a Democrat, had his 1988 presidential campaign derailed when reports surfaced that he was having an affair.
And former North Carolina Senator John Edwards admitted to having an affair with a campaign photographer during his 2004 campaign, although the public did not learn about the romance until after he was defeated.
*Also Read: #CruzsexScandal