Patterico's Pontifications


Ted Cruz: Two New Ads, One Doesn’t Seem To Add Up

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:02 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The Ted Cruz campaign has released a terrifically blistering ad mocking Hillary Clinton and her “server problem”.

The ad is a spoof on “Office Space”. It won’t matter if you haven’t seen the film because there’s no mistaking the the message of “Damn, it’s good to be a Clinton”:

The campaign also released another ad on Thursday, attacking Marco Rubio for being just another pretty face:

The campaign pulled the ad after it was discovered that a female actress appearing in it had also starred in adult films:

The woman, Amy Lindsay, as first reported by BuzzFeed, has appeared in multiple movies with titles like “Carnal Wishes,” “Insatiable Desires” and “Private Sex Club.” Ms. Lindsay told BuzzFeed that she was a Christian conservative and a Republican, deciding between supporting Mr. Cruz or Donald J. Trump.

Okay, so first off, if she is a practicing, not-in-name-only Christian, would she really be doing adult films? Or has she left that part of her acting life behind? And, if she were still an adult film actress, what on earth would compel her to be in a Ted Cruz ad? Surely, if she really were a supporter of the very conservative Cruz, she wouldn’t want to risk jeopardizing the candidate in a place like South Carolina where his strongest support comes from Christian conservatives. But if she weren’t a Cruz supporter and supported another candidate who views Cruz as a serious threat, whether in the primaries or general election, there might be a good reason for an adult film actress to appear in the ad.

A representative from the Cruz campaign released this statement:

“The actress responded to an open casting call,” said Catherine Frazier, a spokeswoman for the Cruz campaign. “She passed her audition and got the job. Unfortunately, she was not vetted by the casting company. Had the campaign known of her full filmography, we obviously would not have let her appear in the ad. The campaign is taking the ad down and will replace it with a different commercial.”

A woman applied for a job and was selected to do the job because she was the best candidate? Sounds good. But because of her employment history, the ad was pulled? I can’t agree with this decision. If there were accusations of Cruz being linked to a porn actress (which of course, there would be), it would have been an opportunity for the very clever Cruz campaign to push back by reminding voters that Americans being hired to do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s wage is an essential part of Conservatism and a big part of what Cruz wants to do for America: grow job creation and employment for any willing American, while working toward a goal of undoing the dismal unemployment rates under Obama. Because an employed America is a successful America. Isn’t this something we want to encourage?

Further, does the campaign risk an accusation of sexism by pulling the ad because of one woman’s work history? A woman who auditioned for a job and got it, beating out the competition fairly and squarely. Could the decision to pull the ad be a lost opportunity to reach the more moderate-libertarian voters still looking for a candidate?

The actress apparently thought the campaign knew about her previous work:

Though Lindsay initially told BuzzFeed News that the person at the campaign who hired her “absolutely knew everything that I had done,” she later called back to say that she realized that was not the case.

“I have clearly talked to the filmmakers and stuff and just to be clear, I assumed that they knew, but none of the filmmakers or the casting director knew about my complete filmography in the past that you’re talking about, so I was wrong in that statement,” Lindsay said, saying that she had assumed that an old friend of hers from an acting class who was present when she was hired was aware of her film history.

As it now stands, Lindsay has tweeted her disappointment in the campaign’s decision to pull the ad:

Extremely disappointed the #TedCruz campaign pulled the national television spot I had a role in… #moretocome #myvotecounts
8:23 PM – 11 Feb 2016

Of course given that the ad was part of a six-figure buy in South Carolina, the state’s Christian conservative voters may not have taken too kindly to having an adult film star appear in their candidate’s ad. Maybe the campaign has an accurate reading of the voters in the state. But would Cruz have lost voters because of the ad? If so, then that would have spoken far more about the kind of people in South Carolina rather than the candidate Ted Cruz.


Stop Applying a Different Standard to Donald Trump

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:34 am

Journalists do not hold Donald Trump to the same standard as other candidates. When he makes grand, sweeping, and ridiculously unsupportable statements, they let it go — apparently thinking that the silly nature of the statements is self-evident. Maybe they are — to educated, intelligent, and informed people. But those aren’t the people still making up their minds about who should be President.

This idea that we apply a different standard to Trump is likely to be a running theme here. Today, let me start the discussion by showing you this video:

“Nobody knows banking better than I do.” “Nobody has more respect for women than I do.” “Nobody knows health care better than Donald Trump.” “I think I know more about foreign policy than anybody running.” Etc. etc. etc.

All but about two of you think these statements are obvious piffle. Why bother demonstrating they’re false, when anyone can see that right off the bat? you think.

That’s a mistake.

If another candidate made any of these statements, journalists would call them on it, and hard. You know more about foreign policy . . . than anyone running? Then answer this specific question, and that one. For example: you can’t name terrorists who are well known to thousands of counterterror experts, sir — and to several of the other candidates on the stage. It’s not a gotcha question if you said you know more than anybody else.

Trump said in The Art of the Deal that he uses “truthful hyperbole” — calling it “an innocent form of exaggeration — and a very effective form of promotion.” Except the “truthful” part is a lie. Hyperbole is a hyperbole. Exaggeration is exaggeration. It’s why Trump claims, over and over, that he is worth more than $10 billion when he clearly isn’t. John Fund:

Trump became president of his father’s real-estate organization in 1974. His share of his father’s empire as one of five siblings was $40 million. As the National Journal has pointed out, If someone were to invest $40 million in a S&P 500 index in 1974, reinvest all dividends, and have to pay capital gains he’d wind up with about $3.4 billion in 2015. Trump claims to be worth over $10 billion but has admitted in a 2007 deposition he frequently exaggerates his wealth. Bloomberg currently puts it at $2.9 billion, while Forbes puts it at $4 billion. So Trump’s actual wealth probably is about as much as he would have accumulated if he had taken his dad’s money and put it into an index fund.

Trump isn’t a successful businessman. He’s a rich kid who got a bunch of money from Daddy. He could have done nothing at all — no “deals,” no bankruptcies, no nothing — and gotten as much money or more as he has today.

Yet he lies about it. He continually claims to be worth over $10 billion, and nobody ever squarely calls him on it. They would, if he were anyone else. Again: I think they assume people know better. But people don’t.

The Trump phenomenon would be over tomorrow if, in a debate, moderators spent 30 minutes asking each candidate how they would do any number of things, and then pointed out each time the candidate failed to say how they would do it. Trump never says how he would do anything. But journalists let it go. I think they’re scared to attack him because of the jihad he would unleash, as he did with Megyn Kelly.

Candidates can’t it around and wait for journalists to do this. They have to attack Trump themselves. But the candidates (with the exception of Ted Cruz, who is attacking Trump these days) do the same as the journalists. They attack each other and sit around assuming Trump is going to blow himself up. Not happening. I think they’re scared to attack him too. Except for Cruz.

Nate Silver says:

The “one weird trick” is to treat him as the front-runner and attack him.

The attacks work, when you actually bother to try them — because the truth hurts Trump. He is all about making vague promises to chump suckers. He is a liar. He exaggerates habitually.

Any other candidate who did this would be savaged. It’s time to start savaging Donald Trump.

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