Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) national spokesman Rick Tyler apologized Monday online and in television appearances for spreading a video that purported to show rival candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), dismissing the Bible.
The video, with somewhat garbled audio, was recorded by the University of Pennsylvania’s independent student news organization The Daily Pennsylvanian in Columbia, South Carolina, and published on Saturday afternoon. The video shows Rubio walking past Ted Cruz’s father and a Cruz staffer in a hotel lobby. Rubio stops briefly to to talk to the staffer, who is holding the Bible, and the video’s captions reported that Rubio said there were “not many answers” in the Bible.
Tyler then shared that version of the video Sunday on Facebook.
In response, Rubio communications director Alex Conant tweeted the video with a “correct transcript” on Sunday afternoon, calling it “another dirty trick by Cruz camp.” This version of the video again shows Rubio gesturing at the Bible, but saying, “All the answers are in there.”
This video has correct transcript; any other is another dirty trick by Cruz camp. How do I know? I’m in the video!! https://t.co/llZGimU5Jp
— Alex Conant (@AlexConant) February 21, 2016
Tyler deleted the Facebook post and published an apology early Monday morning. He wrote, “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.”
During an appearance on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom,” Tyler elaborated on his digital apology. He said he asked for Daily Pennsylvanian video to be corrected and taken down. Fox host Martha MacCallum asked Tyler why he would post something like that because the comments seemed so “preposterous” from a Republican candidate.
“You’re absolutely right. I posted it in haste. I should not have done it. I apologized to Marco Rubio. I apologized to the campaign. I shared [the apology] on Twitter. And I’m sharing it here. It was a mistake and I would not knowingly post something I know to be false. The judgment about what he said was wrong so I apologize about that.
A editor’s note appeared on the original Daily Pennsylvanian story on Sunday saying the organization will “stand by our original transcript” but inviting readers to make their own judgments.