Super PAC attacks Cruz for not prioritizing gay marriage
The danger of running a field too far in one direction is beginning to show in Iowa, where Republican candidates are now measuring who hates gays the most.
Last week a “super” political action committee aligned with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee aired radio ads attacking Texas Senator Ted Cruz. In the ad, the super PAC takes aim at Cruz’s participation in a Manhattan fundraiser where he said fighting gay marriage is not a top three priority.
“In Iowa, he’s (Cruz) made a major point and he’s pitched to evangelicals, as a person who is utterly authentic, and he’s going to fight for religious liberty, and he’s going to protect the right of people to disagree with decisions on same-sex marriage,” Huckabee told Fox News. “But that’s not what you heard in that Manhattan fundraiser and that’s the only thing I’ve pointed out.”
Cruz defenders have accused the Pursing America’s Greatness super PAC of “selective editing” and are quick to note the senator has signed the National Organization of Marriage striking pledge which commits candidates to fighting same-sex marriage through the courts as well as repealing executive orders granting rights to gays and lesbians.
Huckabee also signed NOM’s pledge as have fellow GOP contenders Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Rick Santorum. Huckabee’s attack on Cruz, some analysts believe, reveals a jealousy, for Cruz’s earnest attempt to garner support from what the former Arkansas Governor views as his turf. In the summer, as the Kim Davis story was taking hold, it was Huckabee’s crew that blocked Cruz from appearing on stage with the embattled Kentucky county clerk.
In the latest Real Clear Politics poll of likely Republican caucus goers in Iowa, Cruz holds a 30 to 27 percent lead over national front-runner Donald J. Trump. Florida Senator Marco Rubio ranks third in Iowa polling with 12 percent following by Carson and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
Iowa’s first in the nation caucuses are scheduled for Feb. 1 with the Republicans participating in a Fox News debate at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines on Jan. 28.
Meanwhile, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds a commanding lead among Iowa Democrats. Real Clear Politics has Clinton with a 51 to 36 percent lead over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. The next Democratic debate is scheduled for Jan. 17 in Charleston, South Carolina and is hosted by NBC and the National Black Caucus Institute.