Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Tuesday reacted to Associated Press photos of him that showed an image of a gun pointed directly at his head.
During a radio interview on “The Mark Levin Show,” Cruz addressed the photos, which were taken Saturday by the AP’s Charlie Neibergall at a shooting range where Cruz was speaking.
“There’s no doubt that if they had run the same photo and it had been Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama that the entire world would have recoiled in horror and the editor who made the decision to run it would very likely have been fired,” Cruz said. “And there would’ve been a public apology.”
Cruz told show host Mark Levin that there was a clear discrepancy between how he was portrayed in AP images and how the President was shown.
“It is not surprising to see,” Cruz said. “I’ve kind of enjoyed some of the contrast of all the AP photos of Barack Obama with a halo of lights behind his head versus me with a giant gun pointed between my eyes. … That’s their hostility coming out.”
TPM briefly used one of the photos but later replaced it at the suggestion of an editor.
The images appeared to have been removed from the AP’s site when TPM searched on Wednesday. According to Politico, the AP’s Vice President and Director of Media Relations Paul Colford released the following statement on Sunday:
“Presidential candidate Ted Cruz, was shown in a series of 14 photos taken by an Associated Press photographer at a ‘Celebrate the 2nd Amendment’ event Saturday afternoon, held at a shooting range in Johnston, Iowa,” Colford said. “Five of the photos published by AP included images of guns seen on a wall in the background so that it appeared a pistol was pointed at Sen. Cruz’s head. The images were not intended to portray Sen. Cruz in a negative light.”
Here’s one of the images made available by the AP: