Las Vegas — Ted Cruz asked his communications director Rick Tyler to resign this morning over a tweet from Tyler propagating what turned out to be a false news story about Marco Rubio, he told reporters here Monday.
Tyler tweeted a link to a story purporting to show a video of Rubio mocking the Bible. The story proved to be false.
“Rick Tyler’s a good man. This was a grave error of judgment,” Cruz told reporters before an event at a YMCA here. “It turned out the news story he sent around was false, but I’ll tell you, even if it was true, we are not a campaign that is going to question the faith of another candidate. Even if it was true, our campaign should not have sent it. That’s why I’ve asked for Rick Tyler’s resignation. Because the standards of conduct for this campaign have been made clear for every member of the campaign.”
Rubio’s campaign cried foul on the tweet, and Rubio called it “disturbing” at a gaggle Monday morning, asking if the Cruz campaign would hold anyone “accountable.”
Cruz said he “spent this morning investigating what happened” before asking for Tyler’s resignation.
This is not the first time the Cruz campaign has been accused of spreading false information about another candidate. The day of the Iowa caucuses, Cruz staffers told people Ben Carson was planning to drop out of the race, which turned out not to be true. Cruz publicly apologized to Carson, but Carson has repeatedly questioned why no staffer was fired over the incident, saying it raised doubts about Cruz’s leadership.
Cruz told reporters he had not spoken with Rubio today, either in person or by phone.