New York Times
By Nick Corasaniti
February 20, 2016
First he mocked the similarities in their biographies, calling Senator Marco Rubio “the Republican Obama.” Now, in an ad called “Sales Pitch,” Senator Ted Cruz is hammering Mr. Rubio for serving up the same talking points as President Obama’s.
After calling Mr. Rubio “the Republican Obama” at the end of an ad in Iowa, Mr. Cruz has spliced together clips of Mr. Obama and Mr. Rubio to make them sound like a skipping CD, repeating each other’s lines, during the legislative battle over a comprehensive immigration overhaul in 2013.
“They still have to qualify for it,” Mr. Rubio says, “meaning —”
“Passing a background check,” Mr. Obama says, seeming to finish the sentence. “Passed a background check,” Mr. Rubio echoes.
“Paying a penalty,” says the president. “Pay a fine,” adds Mr. Rubio.
And so on.
Eager to prevent Mr. Rubio from overtaking him in South Carolina, Mr. Cruz has hit on a novel way to assail him over immigration. The back-to-back clips create an obvious sense that Mr. Rubio and the president are playing for the same team — even for viewers who are not looking at the screen.
Mr. Cruz has amplified the impact of his “Republican Obama” strategy against Mr. Rubio by producing a website littered with digitally altered photos of Mr. Rubio and Mr. Obama. In one, Mr. Rubio was shown gleefully shaking the president’s hand. Rather than give in to Mr. Rubio’s demand for an apology, the Cruz campaign continued to run this ad and used news coverage to press its argument against him.
Selective editing has been a hallmark of Mr. Cruz’s negative advertising. His attacks on Donald J. Trump prompted threats of litigation. Their effectiveness in damaging Mr. Trump and Mr. Rubio may still be unclear, but the ads have clearly gotten under the two candidates’ skin.
Changing channels ...
He has played God (twice), a fictional president and Nelson Mandela. He narrated “The Shawshank Redemption.” Now, Morgan Freeman’s deep, calm and authoritative voice is urging viewers to vote for Hillary Clinton. With all due respect to Reg E. Cathey, the baritone who plays a barbecue purveyor in the Netflix drama “House of Cards” and is narrating ads for Bernie Sanders, Mr. Freeman is the bigger get.
Here’s the latest news and analysis of the candidates and issues shaping the presidential race.
In a Black Church in South Carolina, Bernie Sanders Struggles to Get an ‘Amen’ FEB 21
Delegate Count Leaving Bernie Sanders With Steep Climb FEB 21
Ted Cruz and Donald Trump Head Toward Super Tuesday With G.O.P.’s Deepest Pockets FEB 21
Donald Trump’s Victory Spurs Renewed Scrambling Among Republicans FEB 21
South Carolina and Nevada Takeaways: Messages Get Results FEB 21
Television stations seldom pull commercials over complaints of unfairness. But some stations in South Carolina decided that an ad from Stand for Truth, a shadowy “super PAC” supporting Mr. Cruz, went too far in accusing Mr. Rubio of ignoring “sanctuary cities” that flout federal immigration law. Mr. Rubio has called for cutting federal funding to those cities.
Jeb Bush has been known to dole out chest bumps to voters when they say they are switching over to support him. In a new digital ad released on Friday, he puts a little extra oomph into a chest bump with a man of around the same age, similar build, similar hand motion — oh, yeah. The man is his brother George W. Bush.
28 The number of new negative ads run on television since the New Hampshire primary.
10 The number of new negative ads run against Mr. Trump since the New Hampshire primary.
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