It's no secret that Donald Trump has been known to stretch the truth, and on Monday, the Republican frontrunner proved that he's not above citing seemingly sensationalized news to attack his opponent, Ted Cruz, either. During an interview on Fox News, Trump accused Cruz's father of associating with JFK's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, right before Oswald assassinated the President in 1963. What was Trump's source? Celebrity gossip tabloid, The National Enquirer. It felt low brow, even for Trump.
The National Enquirer recently claimed to have a photo of Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz, handing out pro-Castro flyers alongside the assassin. The Cruz campaign immediately denied the validity of the photo, and little attention was paid to the story. However, Trump himself brought up The National Enquirer story on Monday when he was asked to respond to Rafael Cruz's insistence that evangelical Christian voters should vote Cruz and not Trump.
Trump told Fox News:
You know, his [Ted Cruz's] father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being — you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous. What is this, right, prior to his being shot, and nobody brings it up. They don’t even talk about that. That was reported and nobody talks about it. But I think it’s horrible. What was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death, before the shooting? It’s horrible.
The Fox News team did not bring up the sensationalized story, so it understandably felt odd for Trump to do so. Referencing a tabloid doesn't seem like the best way for Trump to convince the Republican Party that he should be the candidate on the ballot in November — citing The National Enquirer isn't a very presidential move.
On Tuesday morning in response to Trump's continuation of the allegations against his father, Ted Cruz told voters in Indiana that Trump is a "pathological liar," and continued on to say of Trump, "This man is utterly immoral. Morality doesn’t exist for him." Trying to highlight the absurdity of Trump's attack, Cruz even joked, "Yes, my dad killed JFK, he is secretly Elvis, and Jimmy Hoffa is buried in his backyard."
He may not be the most moral of presidential candidates, however, it could be argued that Trump's mention of The National Enquirer story was strategic — due to Trump's powerful media presence, Rafael Cruz's alleged association with the Lee Harvey Oswald is spreading. The only question is, does the story make voters question Cruz's candidacy, or look down upon Trump for bringing up a photo that probably isn't real?