Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida went after Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign Monday for what Mr. Rubio described as a pattern of dealing in deception and falsehoods, with the latest controversy coming over something Mr. Rubio had said to a Cruz staffer about the Bible.
Mr. Rubio said that “every single day,” “something comes out of the Cruz campaign that’s deceptive and untrue.”
“And in this case goes after my faith,” Mr. Rubio told reporters in Nevada. “So I understand, I guess one of their spokespersons apologized and I’ll accept his apology, but this is a pattern now and I think we’re now at a point where we start asking about accountability.”
A spokesman for Mr. Cruz’s campaign did apologize to Mr. Rubio after sharing a news story that included a video in which the Florida senator spoke briefly to a Cruz staffer about a book the staffer had been holding, which turned out to be the Bible.
One transcription of the video had Mr. Rubio saying there were “not many” answers in it, while Mr. Rubio’s campaign says he had said “all” the answers are in there.
The Daily Pennsylvanian removed the quote in question, saying the transcription on the video had reflected what they originally heard but that it was unclear after reviewing the audio.
“I know exactly what I said to that young man,” Mr. Rubio said Monday. “I said the answer to every question you’ll ever have is in that book. And then I pointed to the Book of Proverbs, which he was reading, I said, particularly that one, which is the book of wisdom.”
Cruz campaign spokesman Rick Tyler also said Monday the Rubio camp’s version of the comments were accurate because he knows the staffer Mr. Rubio had made the comment to.
“I posted in haste; I should not have done it,” Mr. Tyler said on Fox News. “It was a mistake. I would not knowingly post something I knew to be false.”
Just days ago on Friday, Mr. Rubio’s campaign went as far as warning South Carolina voters to be on the lookout for “tricks” from Mr. Cruz’s campaign ahead of the GOP primary.
On the night of the Iowa caucuses, Cruz supporters had circulated a news report saying that retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson was going to leave the campaign trail for a few days, and other candidates have said people might have been persuaded not to vote for Mr. Carson because of subsequent rumors that he was actually leaving the race entirely.
“This campaign now has repeatedly done things that they have to apologize for and no one’s ever held accountable,” Mr. Rubio said. “I think it’s a very disturbing pattern of deceptive campaigns and flat-out just lying.”