In what could be a brewing battle between the current Iowa frontrunner and the 2008 winner of the Iowa caucus, a radio ad by a pro-Mike Huckabee group is claiming there are “Two Teds” — the Ted Cruz raising money in New York and the one campaigning in Iowa.
The ad's audio from a Manhattan fundraiser includes someone asking the Texas senator if rolling back gay marriage is a top-three priority for him as president. Cruz answers, “No.”
The pro-Huckabee political action committee, Pursuing America’s Greatness — which isn't directly connected to the Huckabee campaign — wasted little time in turning the audio into an ad. But that actually wasn’t all Cruz said; he elaborated to say his main goal is defending the Constitution.
The ad says: “Listen to Cruz raise money in New York City from liberals who don’t share our conservative Iowa values. … Remember, the next time Cruz tells you he shares your values, there are two Teds.”
As CNN reported, Cruz’s broader answer noted that his main priority is “defending the Constitution.” He said “that cuts across the whole spectrum, whether it's defending the First Amendment, defending religious liberty, stopping courts from making public policy issues that are left to the people. And I also think the 10th Amendment to the Constitution cuts across a lot of issues.”
Huckabee defended the ad during a Fox News interview Sunday, saying that "there's nothing selective, there's nothing deceptive."
The former Arkansas governor added, "I think we all are looking for people who are consistent, and consistent means you say the same thing regardless of where you are geographically."
In the Real Clear Politics polling average for Iowa, Cruz is leading the pack of candidates with 30.3 percent, compared to Huckabee's 2.3 percent.