New York Times
By Nick Corasanti
January 22, 2016
Fighting neck-and-neck in the Iowa polls with Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Donald J. Trump has gone negative, with a 60-second advertisement assailing Mr. Cruz over a hot-button issue with conservatives in Iowa: immigration.
A thumbs-up from Mr. Trump, then right to the attack: “Trump vs Cruz on Immigration,” a full-screen headline promises. A faux television shows Mr. Cruz, in a clip from December, struggling as he tries to parry questions from Bret Baier of Fox News, about an amendment Mr. Cruz offered to legislation that would have overhauled the nation’s immigration laws and created a path to citizenship for people in the country illegally. “Sounded like you wanted the bill to pass,” Mr. Baier says. As Mr. Cruz first stammers his way to a yes, then corrects himself to say he only wanted his amendment to pass, the ad delivers a harsh verdict, branding him “Pro Immigration.”
As Mr. Cruz confusingly tries to dig himself out of a hole with Mr. Baier, another big headline sums up what viewers might be thinking: “What is He Talking About?”
It then musters its evidence: video footage of Mr. Cruz addressing the Senate Judiciary Committee in May 2013. “I want immigration reform to pass,” he declares — adding, after a jump cut, “that allows those who are here illegally to come out of the shadows.” Another verdict by headline: “Pro Amnesty.”
Mr. Baier restates that Mr. Cruz’s amendment would have allowed undocumented immigrants to stay in the country indefinitely and gain legal status. As Mr. Cruz begins to explain himself, saying, “Actually, Bret, it wouldn’t have,” viewers are helpfully shown what to think with another big headline: “Yeah, Right Ted.”
The final third of the ad shows Mr. Trump, not confined to the mock TV screen that showed Mr. Cruz, outlining his own beliefs on immigration in an ABC News interview: Secure the borders, if humanely, to prevent people from “pouring in” and “doing tremendous damage.”
Double-barreled. First, Mr. Cruz cannot be trusted as the hard-liner he claims to be on immigration — an issue that Mr. Trump elevated to the forefront in the Republican primary, and which he apparently is intent on monopolizing from the right. Second, Mr. Cruz, the smooth-talking, polished debater, is at the core just another double-talking politician. Mr. Trump, by contrast, stands for simple, if severe, principles.
Mr. Cruz has defended his record on immigration, claiming his amendment was a poison pill intended to kill the entire immigration overhaul. And in a December debate, he said he “does not intend to support legalization.” But in 2013, he insisted several times that he was not trying to kill the overhaul bill, and that his amendments would have helped it pass.
In Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, on broadcast and cable television, as part of a $2 million-a-week advertising schedule.
The ad highlights an unfamiliar and uncomfortable glimpse of Mr. Cruz: off-script, struggling to keep his story straight, uttering words that will inflame conservatives alarmed about illegal immigration, and stammering like Elmer Fudd caught without even his pop gun.
For more information, go to: www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com