The Corner

Cruz and the Negative Ads

In my piece today, which looks at Ted Cruz’s rise in the polls, I also talked to some about the ugly turn the campaign has taken in the runoff (a pro-Dewhurst super PAC is running a spot that ties Cruz, through one of his legal clients, to a young adult’s suicide):

“They are throwing the kitchen sink and the whole house to see what sticks,” says a Texas Republican strategist who backs Cruz. “The Dewhurst attacks have almost become ludicrous. Jumping the shark comes to mind.”

The ads may be backfiring. The same Republican insider quoted earlier says that people in Austin “are taken aback by the extent to which this [Dewhurst] campaign has gone extraordinarily toward the hardball direction.” He adds that, in the view of Austin insiders, “the one thing that Dewhurst had going into this race was…that people generally liked him. He’s a good guy. He’s a nice guy. This slash-and-burn campaign is harming that.”

The Cruz campaign, meanwhile, is highlighting the fact that Dewhurst initially said in a radio interview last week that he didn’t know anyone at the super PAC, Texas Conservatives Fund, behind the ad, although Dewhurst then said a former employee of his was in fact involved with the super PAC. The employee in question is Rob Johnson, who worked for Dewhurst for eight years — and is now in charge of the Texas Conservatives Fund. Watch:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=8rYxRKOUkqc

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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