Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is running for re-election, and he’s running scared. He should be. His Democratic opponent, U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, is within one point of Cruz in the latest poll, and a top Trump administration official said Cruz may lose because he’s unlikeable. If all that weren’t enough, the Senate Majority Whip has summed up the GOP’s fear of O’Rourke’s chances of taking down Cruz: “We’re not bluffing, this is real, and it is a serious threat.”
Michelle Obama famously said, “When they go low, we go high.”
Ted Cruz has just gone low. Very low.
A few weeks ago O’Rourke, who is 45 – just two years younger than Cruz but worlds apart in outlook – was asked at a town hall style event to share his thoughts on the NFL players’ silent kneeling protests.
The man who asked O’Rourke clearly was not fan of the players’ protests, but that did not stop the Democratic Congressman from launching into a well-thought out explanation for not only why he supports protesting police killings of Black people, but why it’s a very American thing to do.
And the Cruz campaign went into action.
They sliced and diced the video, and turned the question into one about flag burning – not the players’ protests – and then used O’Rourke’s remarks to make it appear that he supports burning the American flag, and thinks “there is something inherently American about that,” and is “grateful people are willing to do that.”
Those remarks were about NFL players protesting police killing Black people, not flag burning.
Tell that to the Cruz campaign.
“Congressman O’Rourke not only called burning the U.S. flag ‘inherently American’ but also said he was ‘grateful’ for those willing to commit such an act,” Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told The Dallas Morning News, in a clear lie. “His position is an appalling display of disregard to those who have put their lives on the line to preserve the very freedoms the American flag represents. Texans certainly do not share such views.”
Nor does O’Rourke, according to his spokesperson.
“O’Rourke has only spoken publicly about flag-burning once, when the congressman said he does not think anybody should burn the American flag,” The Hill reports. It calls the ad “heavily edited.”
The Dallas Morning News, which basically is Cruz’s hometown newspaper, reports the story this way: “Heavily spliced Ted Cruz video falsely depicts Beto O’Rourke saying he’s ‘grateful’ for flag burning.”
“O’Rourke did not say he’s ‘grateful’ for flag burning. Nor did he say that flag burning is ‘inherently American,'” the paper makes clear.
How can Cruz get away with this?
Here’s part of the question the man asked O’Rourke about NFL players protests:
“As a voter, I don’t know how I would feel to have my own elected representative being open to kneeling on the Senate floor or encouraging and supporting acts that desecrate our American flag.”
O’Rourke clearly was responding to the protests – which do not “desecrate our American flag.”
Tell that to the Cruz campaign.
When you choose to lie, and to lie to this degree, you’re running scared.
Ted Cruz should be scared. His vision of America, his decision to not only support but to embrace President Trump is inherently un-American. And it will cost him at the polls in November.
And if he continues down this path, it will cost him his job, too.
Watch this outrageous Cruz campaign ad, which is being run on Facebook:
And here’s the video that went viral, of O’Rourke discussing NFL players’ protests:
‘I can think of nothing more American.’ — Beto O’Rourke — the man taking on Ted Cruz — brilliantly explains why NFL players kneeling during the anthem is not disrespectful pic.twitter.com/xUGOuCFCSi
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) August 22, 2018
Hat tip: The Hill
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Marco Rubio: ‘Not a Crime’ to Break Federal Law by Taking Top Secret National Security Documents From the White House
In a rare Fox News moment, host Bret Baier reported that many are concerned about the lack of Republican “alarm” over Donald Trump absconding with at least 15 cartons of documents and other items, some of which were classified, or even “top secret” classified, and storing them in his suite at Mar-a-Lago, compared to the massive coverage the media gave the Hillary Clinton email story.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), who is the Ranking Member on the Intelligence Committee, and also serves on the Foreign Relations Committee, responded by saying “it’s not a crime” to break federal law – the Presidential Records Act of 1978, in this case, by removing the documents or flushing them down the toilet.
It seems odd that the Ranking Member of the Senate Intelligence Committee would be unaware of federal laws about retention of presidential documents, especially handling of classified and top-secret national security documents.
The Florida Republican also suggested Trump had turned over all the missing documents, which is false.
Rubio began by claiming he doesn’t know what’s true because “they” have made up so many stories about Trump “over the years.”
He goes on to suggest, apparently erroneously, that Hillary Clinton’s treatment of classified documents was pleaded in a federal court case.
Rubio: The documents that were at Mar-a-Lago by all accounts were turned over. Look if the process wasn’t followed then there needs to be something that happens about that. It’s not a crime I don’t believe pic.twitter.com/gFMxqSBxHE
— Acyn (@Acyn) February 14, 2022
‘That’s a Lie!’ MSNBC’s Hayes Destroys Kayleigh McEnany for Blatantly False Claim About Trump’s COVID Tests
MSNBC host Chris Hayes on Thursday night played a clip of then-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany discussing former President Donald Trump’s timeline of COVID-19 test results after he was diagnosed with the virus last year.
Hayes played the clip during a report on former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’s claim that Trump tested positive for COVID-19 on Sept. 26, prior to his first debate with President Joe Biden.
“All of the evidence points to Trump having COVID, knowing he had COVID, and spending a week spreading it around while covering it up and refusing to admit he’s sick,” Hayes concluded.
He went on to recall that after Trump finally announced he had COVID on Oct. 2, White House officials were “so sketchy” about when he had last tested negative — and then he played the clip of McEnany “trying to evade this simple question” on Oct. 4.
McEnany was responding to a reporter’s question about whether Trump had been tested prior to the debate on Sept. 29, or before a fundraiser in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Oct. 1.
“I’m not going to give you a detailed readout with timestamps of every time the president is tested,” McEnany said. “He’s tested regularly, and the first positive test he received was after his return from Bedminster.”
“Again, I’m not giving a detailed readout of his testing, but it’s safe to say his first positive test was upon return, or at least after, Bedminster, that trip,” McEnany added.
“That’s a lie. We now know, that’s a lie. That clip there is a lie,” Hayes said, recalling that at the time, “the squirrelliness around this was hard to ignore.”
PBS News White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor agreed, saying, “When I watched Kayleigh lie there, it just reminded me of all the different times she lied, so many times, from the podium, from the White House lawn, from the stakeout location where she is in that clip.”
“It really just underscores that this was an administration that was never really playing it straight with the American people,” Alcindor said.
Trump Issues Stunningly False Statement Criticizing Biden for ‘Attack’ on US Oil Reserves
Donald Trump, the disgraced, former president who is reportedly planning a third campaign, on Tuesday released an exceptionally false statement criticizing President Joe Biden for taking action to combat increasing gas and home heating oil prices.
President Biden Tuesday morning announced he has authorized 50 million barrels of oil to be sold from the U.S. Strategic Oil Reserves, a move that should help lower oil and gas prices that have risen because of OPEC+ policies. Biden is making the move in conjunction with similar moves by five other countries: China, India, Japan, South Korea and the U.K.
“We expect the industry to be passing through these savings to consumers as quickly as possible,” a White House official said, as The Wall Street Journal reports.
“The president stands ready to take additional action, if needed, and is prepared to use his full authorities working in coordination with the rest of the world to maintain adequate supply as we exit the pandemic,” the White House added.
Trump, in a statement released to the press, outright lied about Biden’s move, and about his own performance and that of other U.S. Presidents.
“For decades our Country’s very important Strategic Oil Reserves were low or virtually empty in that no President wanted to pay the price of filling them up. I filled them up three years ago, right to the top, when oil prices were very low. Those reserves are meant to be used for serious emergencies, like war, and nothing else,” Trump falsely claimed.
As The New York Times’ Peter Baker notes, the Strategic Oil Reserves (technically the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,) were far from empty when Trump took office, but they were far less full when he left:
Strategic Petroleum Reserve on the day Trump took office: 695 million barrels
Strategic Petroleum Reserve on the day Trump left office: 638 million barrelshttps://t.co/P4esCfDbNB
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) November 23, 2021
That’s not the only lie Trump told.
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is authorized to hold up to 714 million barrels (in 2009 it was 727 million barrels), so they were nearly full when Trump took office. He also exposed his ignorance about how the federal government “buys” the oil. The oil is effectively traded to the government as payment (royalties) for drilling leases so presidents not wanting to “pay the price of filling them up” is false as well.
Here’s a graph from the U.S. government showing how many barrels of oil are in the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserves, starting in 1980. At no time were they “low or virtually empty,” not ever. The chart is highlighted to indicate the day Trump was sworn in to office:
The Reserves have been tapped about 20 times since they were first created in 1975, including to reduce the deficit in 1996 and 1997, in 2011 during the Arab Spring, and as loans to oil companies.
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