Cruz Robocall To SC Republicans Defends Confederate Flag

Ted Cruz Calls Every Republican In South Carolina, Wraps Himself In Confederate Flag

Friday the Charleston Post and Courier reported that the pro-Ted Cruz Courageous Conservative Political Action Committee has been making robocalls to South Carolina Republicans that criticizes Donald Trump’s past comments regarding the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the SC Statehouse grounds.

At a press conference in June of last year, just one week after announcing his presidential campaign, Trump was asked whether or not he supported South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s call to take down the Confederate battle flag from Statehouse grounds in front of the State Capitol building. Trump said that he did support Haley’s decision.

“I think they should put it in the museum and let it go,” Trump replied, referring to the Confederate battle flag. “Respect whatever it is you have to respect, because it was a point in time, and put it in a museum. But I would take it down. Yes.”

That answer won’t play well with many of Trump’s supporters in the state.

Cruz Robocall defending Confederate battle flag appeals to racial “intolerance” of Trump supporters

According to a Public Policy Polling (PPP) poll from released on February 16, “Trump’s support in South Carolina is built on a base of voters among whom religious and racial intolerance pervades.”

PPP asked Republican voters a series of questions concerning the Civil War and the Confederate battle flag. They found that Trump’s supporters, more so than the other Republican candidates, were particularly nostalgic about South Carolina’s about Confederate history.

Among the beliefs of [Trump’s] supporters: 70% think the Confederate flag should still be flying over the State Capital, to only 20% who agree with it being taken down. In fact 38% of Trump voters say they wish the South had won the Civil War to only 24% glad the North won and 38% who aren’t sure. Overall just 36% of Republican primary voters in the state are glad the North emerged victorious to 30% for the South, but Trump’s the only one whose supporters actually wish the South had won.

The Cruz robocall begins with a recording of Trump saying, “Put it in a museum, let it go,” from the press conference last June. Then an announcer cuts in and says:

“That’s Donald Trump supporting Nikki Haley removing the battle flag from the Confederate memorial in Columbia. People like Donald Trump are always butting their noses into other people’s business… Trump talks about our flag like it’s a social disease.”

Cruz denies involvement, despite other accusations of foul play

The Cruz campaign was quick to deny they had anything to do with the pro-Cruz robocalls.

“This is from someone not affiliated in any way with our campaign, and it is not something we condone,” said spokeswoman Alice Stewart.

It’s true that, legally speaking, Super PACs are supposed to operate independently from the candidates they support. Of course, as the Los Angeles Times and others have pointed out in the past, Super PACs often “stretch the rules that prohibit coordination with presidential campaigns.”

The Ted Cruz campaign has repeatedly been accused of employing shady campaign tactics, including sending out fraudulent mailers, and spreading rumors that Republican candidate Ben Carson had dropped out of the presidential race in the days before the Iowa caucuses. 

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