WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 (UPI) — Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz on Monday dismissed his communications director over a misinterpretation of remarks made by fellow GOP contender Marco Rubio in a video posted online.
Cruz’s campaign acknowledged the resignation of Rick Tyler Monday, saying that the aide had incorrectly stated that Rubio made recent remarks disparaging the bible.
The New York Times reported that Tyler posted to Facebook a video of Rubio speaking with subtitles. In the title translation, it cited Rubio as saying there are “not many answers” in the bible.
However, news reports said, that translation was erroneous — and that Rubio had actually stated that the bible, in fact, does have “all the answers.”
Tyler’s counterpart in Rubio’s campaign, Alex Conant, seized on the mistake. In Las Vegas Monday, ahead of the state’s GOP caucus Tuesday, Cruz announced that he had made a change in Tyler’s position.
“I’ve spent this morning investigating what happened, and this morning I asked for Rick Tyler’s resignation,” Cruz said. “I have made clear in this campaign that we will conduct this campaign with the very highest standards of integrity.”
Cruz did speak highly of Tyler and acknowledged the ordeal was simply a “grave error in judgment.”
“It is why, when other campaigns attack us personally, impugn my integrity or my character, I don’t respond in kind,” the Texas senator continued.
Tyler issued a written apology to Rubio late Sunday via Facebook.
“I want to apologize to Senator Marco Rubio for posting an inaccurate story about him here earlier today. The story showed a video of the Senator walking past a Ted Cruz staffer seated in the lobby of a hotel reading his Bible. The story misquoted a remark the Senator made to the staffer. I assumed wrongly that the story was correct,” he said. “According to the Cruz staffer, the Senator made a friendly and appropriate remark. Since the audio was unclear, I should not have assumed the story was correct.
“I’ve deleted the post because I would not knowingly post a false story. But the fact remains that I did post it when I should have checked its accuracy first. I regret the mistake.”
Tyler also appeared on Fox News Monday to elaborate on the situation and his regret, and added that the Daily Pennsylvanian newspaper captioned the video incorrectly.
“The Daily Pennsylvanian is sticking by their , but look,I know it to be wrong,” he said. “The reason I know it to be wrong because I know the staffer that Marco Rubio made the remark to. And it was a light-hearted remark.
“I’ve asked the Daily Pennsylvanian to correct it, to take it down, but they haven’t done that.”
Tyler, who also appeared on MSNBC Monday, has not yet commented on his resignation from Cruz’s campaign..
“Rick is a really good spokesman who had the unenviable task or working for a candidate willing to do or say anything to get elected,” Conant responded. “There is a culture in the Cruz campaign, from top to bottom, that no lie is too big and no trick too dirty.
“Rick did the right thing by apologizing to Marco. It’s high time for Ted Cruz to do the right thing and stop the lies.”