This Latest Ted Cruz Tactic Confirms All The Things We Loathe About Him

TrusTed's campaign is doing weird things again. According to an AP report, the Ted Cruz campaign sent a fundraising email Tuesday declaring that those who made campaign contributions of $35 would become "deputy delegates" — a phrase which understandably resulted in some confusion. Whether or not Cruz was trying to bring in grassroots funds by making people believe they’d be able to influence the delegate count (you know, other than by regular voting), that’s definitely how it came across to some.

“I need your help with something,” WND reports the questionable email as saying. “The cutoff to become an official Deputy Delegate is in just 24 hours, and I still need 4 more Deputy delegates in zip [redacted] … You and I both have a lot riding on this election — the future of our country is at stake. I know not everyone can come to Cleveland — but you can still become an official Deputy Delegate for my campaign. Please don’t sit this one out!”

Cruz doesn’t seem at all fazed by how this stuff looks. Remember the whole Ben Carson mailer fiasco? Cruz's campaign admitted to spreading the inaccurate claim that Carson would drop out after Iowa, and that they left recorded messages to “inform any Carson caucus-goers of this news and urge them to caucus for Ted instead.” (Cruz subsequently apologized to Carson.) Or what about the time Cruz's campaign photoshopped Marco Rubio into a handshake with President Obama? Cruz also just called Rubio a great VP choice on Thursday, so we should only expend so much energy trying to guess where his head’s at.

The recent "deputy delegate" mess certainly isn’t the most egregious step Cruz and his campaign have taken, but it does fall within a well-established pattern of behavior. And this isn’t even getting into some of his greatest hits prior to this election cycle, including famously denying ever supporting "a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants," which Slate easily debunked.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

It’s a cliché that politicians lie, but it’s becoming extra-cliché that Ted Cruz lies.

“What is a card-carrying Deputy Delegate?” asked CNN’s Anderson Cooper in live Town Hall event Wednesday. “Because that makes it sound like they have some power, that they can come to the convention.”

Cruz countered by saying that the “Trump attack machine” blew the fundraising email out of proportion, before plugging his website (to tepid applause). He then compared the invitation to times when his kids play with "Deputy Sheriff" badges. (“Those things are fun!" Cruz said cheerfully.)

It’s unclear whether this will have any actual ramifications for Cruz. As much bad press as they generate, few of these tactics ever seem to really hurt him. He's currently trailing celebrity billionaire Donald Trump in the polls for the upcoming New York primary. Then again, Cruz, having recently defended his "New York values" controversy, can hardly be expecting a win there anyway.