Donald Trump, The JFK Assassination, And The Strategy That's Now Falling Into Place

We've all heard that Ted Cruz is possibly the Zodiac killer, but here's another one for you wearers of tin-foil hats: On Tuesday while speaking on Fox News, Donald Trump accused Cruz's father of being linked to Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who assassinated John F. Kennedy. Trump's comments came after a National Enquirer story claimed Rafael Cruz was pictured handing out pro-Castro leaflets with Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963. The National Enquirer is the type of tabloid that is just as likely to accuse Cruz of eating baby goats or some other lurid claim, but it seems no rumor is too wild for this election.

In a phone interview, Trump said to Fox News:

His 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 even brings it up. They don't even talk about that. That was reported, and nobody talks about it. I mean, what was he doing — what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting? It’s horrible.

The National Enquirer story about Cruz was published last month as a "bombshell world exclusive" that provided "disturbing photographic evidence that was buried in secret U.S. government files," which "top D.C. insiders" confirmed. Subsequently, the Miami Herald, which ran a full-on investigation of the claim, catapulting it into mainstream media.

After Trump's comments about the allegation on Fox News, Cruz's campaign fired back in a released statement on Tuesday, calling the claim "false tabloid garbage" and Trump "detached from reality." It's kind of hilarious that the campaign needs to release an official statement at all about this — I hope, if Trump also brought up the Zodiac killer meme on TV, that they'd need to finally address that, too. (Actually, Heidi Cruz already has.)

I hate agreeing with Cruz's campaign on anything, but they do have a point about Trump. There is something "detached from reality" in these remarks. Why bring up such a bizarre accusation, especially at this point in the race, when Trump is already so ahead of Cruz?

Trump should be prepping for the general election, and in fact, some of his recent behavior has been relatively mild for him. His hiring seasoned GOP strategists to helm his campaign and sharing even a small bit of support for LGBT issues suggested he might be pivoting for November. It almost seemed like he was over his low-brow, "Melania Trump is hotter than Heidi Cruz" days of bashing Cruz. So, why return to that level of discourse?

It's hard for me to think that tabloid-level of accusations will fly well in the general election. Then again, nothing about the 2016 presidential race has been predictable, and sticking to the bizarre may work best for Trump.