Behind Ted Cruz’s Campaign Manager, Scorched Earth and Election Victories

Jeff Roe, a longtime political operative in local and national races, has steered Mr. Cruz’s onetime long-shot presidential bid into contention.

Comments: 192

  1. So, what happens when Ms. Clinton and Mr. Cruz, fight it out for the presidency? It will come down to which campaign is the better liar?

    While there is a hope that these are not the two left standing, by fall, the possibility is there to see the dirtiest, lied filled presidential campaign in history. Followed by a presidency which will make Richard Nixon's look like George Washington's, in comparison.

    I guess the price you pay when you have unlimited money; thank you US Supreme Court for opening up the floodgates.

  2. To Nick Metrowsky,
    You apparently find it very easy to call Mrs. Clinton a "liar" (a very strong word) just like the Repub candidates and the commentators on Fox Noise. This claim is a calculated smear, plain and simple. Tell me what proven "lie" Mrs. Clinton has been caught in. And, please, don't mention the words "Benghazi" or "email server." The always opportunistic Repubs have seized on these two to claim that black is white and up is down. No lie has been proven in either case, yet the fabrications and smears just keep on rolling.

  3. Al N, Ms. Clinton has projected a perception, across teh political spectrum, that she is untrustworthy".

    I put these terms in Google:

    "liar untrustworthy"

    And I got back a number of links like the one below:

    There were three Google pages of search results crossing the political spectrum. From MSNBC to National Review.

    Yes, "liar" is a string term, but I did not make it up. And Ms. Clinton has a real image problem.

  4. Aside from that, there was the issue of Benghazi though. Plus, the email server. No, I'm just kidding. But remember this, Hillary said she fled from a helicopter in Bosnia while being shot at by machine guns. Then, she said she mis-spoke. Is that not the same as a lie when you just don't have the same level of insight to be aware that you're doing it?

  5. He take his clue from the Supreme Courts handling of the Gore Bush election. Lying, cheating, and slander ( really only the first two for the court ) are fair in the class War occurring in America.

  6. Was he behind the Swiftboaters, I wonder? God, that was the most foul, immoral and slimy attack I've ever seen.

  7. One of the refreshing things about Trump is that he does not say his opponents engage in distortions or misrepresentations. He calls them liars. Voters know this to be true and frankly, it's refreshing when a politician is honest about lying.

  8. Of course, Trump lies all the time. I will assume he won't be honest about that going forward.

  9. Win at any cost without regard to anyone, accept no consequences for your actions and integrity is for wimps seems to sum up Mr. Roe's approach to politics. Sounds like a preview of a Cruz presidency. I hope the country is spared experiencing it first hand.

  10. Sadly, this seems to be the prevailing ethos in our current culture and, to state the obvious, especially (though not exclusively) among Republicans.

  11. Ted Cruz is such a deceitful person, it is no surprise that his campaign staff would mirror him.
    Cruz calls himself "anti-establishment," yet is a Senator, a former Congressman, a onetime Supreme Court clerk and was a Bush campaign worker;
    Cruz separates himself from "New York values," yet gladly comes to the city fundraising;
    He has told his campaign financiers that we has no problem with issues like their same-sex marriage, yet promises to undo marriage equality;
    Cruz claims he does not represent the wealthy, yet is married to a Goldman-Sachs banker and took campaign loans from major financial institutions, not his own piggybank (as he previously stipulated);
    Cruz says he values civilian life, yet speaks glibly of "carpet-bombing" and making "the sand glow-in-the-dark."
    And he purports to run a campaign of wholesome values!

  12. US Senator, yes. But never a US Representative

  13. Yup. Judge candidates by their handlers.

  14. Yes, we should. Like cries out to like. Liars hire liars.

  15. Shocking, simply shocking. "Captain Renault, round up the usual suspects..."

    Cruz is such a reptile, it is not surprise that his campaign manager follows suit.

  16. amen

  17. "Birds of a feather, flock together!" or maybe that's "Glock" together. This political season is chock full of candidates who are campaigning to cause Washington and our citizens more trouble rather than to solve our problems.

  18. And so you have it. Cruz, with a wife at Goldman Sachs where you need to be super aggressive to survive, and a lawyer mentality, that even if your client is a chain saw murderer of 25 people, you need to get the not guilty verdict, has no problem whatsoever with what Roe wants to do. After reading this, Trump seems more like a gentleman than Cruz.

  19. “I live in the windshield,” Jeff Roe told The New Republic. “I don’t live in the rearview mirror.”

    Spoken like a true unreflective sociopath.

    Politics is a filthy business, and it attracts a lot of filthy human beings.

    The Republican Party has been a master of the politics of destruction and Jeff Roe serves cooked-to-order strategic campaign lies in order to win....nice people.

    Ted Cruz's draconian personality and his Lee Atwater-reincarnate of campaign manager show Ted Cruz to be a good politician and a very scary Presidential candidate.

    Donald Trump asked “how can Ted Cruz be an Evangelical Christian when he lies so much and is so dishonest?”

    It turns out religion has nothing to do with honesty.

    It's Republicanism in general that produces a culture of dishonesty.

    Mr. Roe grew up on a hog farm; his transition to the Republican Party was smooth, seamless and apparently very filling.

  20. I would add Rubio does not seem too different when it comes to being honest. The big difference seems to be that Rubio has a friendlier user interface than Cruz and therefore, imho, way more dangerous bc he seems to have a core that is dictated by the people who give him $$.

  21. Roughly half of the country are Republicans. I'm not sure how you can say half of the people in this entire country participate in "a culture of dishonesty." That in itself is dishonest, and more importantly, unhelpful. This type of labeling and division in to "Blue States" v. "Red States" is what Obama ran against. Of course he failed miserably in bring the country together, and I'm not placing blame, but the fact is that labeling is unhelpful.

    I agree that religion has nothing to do with dishonesty. I can also tell you that party affiliation/belief also has nothing to do with dishonest. I think everyone can both to dishonest examples from both parties. For instance, Hillary has been very dishonest about her emails. Or at the very least, the way she has treated it has been very shady. Sanders is also dishonest in his own way. He is feeding the left with false promises of free this free that, but with no ability to pay for it. He says he'll get his promises through Congress through a political revolution of the general electorate. But he can't even convince the left to pick him over Hillary. In other contexts, that'd be called swindling.

  22. Based on this article Mr. Roe is not someone I'd enjoy having a beer with. The same goes for Senator Cruz. How can Cruz claim to be a Christian and hang around with the likes of Mr. Roe?

  23. Cruz can easily claim to be a Christian simply by lying

  24. The party of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove gives us yet another slimy operative to shape the national election. Yuck

  25. Cruz hired these people and I'm sure knew what he was buying.

    Here is a candidate who runs on his Christianity and tries to win by hiring people who do dirty tricks, including blatantly false photoshops and captions.

    Cruz actually had a clear differentiation from the other candidates: the most conservative, and the most religious, in his own eyes. He's thrown that away for an image of the most dishonest, which was hard to do with Trump in the field.

  26. It says something about this guy that he named his daughter Remington - in part for the gun maker! 'Murica...

  27. This says a lot about Cruz, repubs in general, and the state of this election (not to mention where it's heading). As the saying goes, "the fish rots from the head."

  28. Reading about Mr. Roe, I find myself remembering why I am a Democrat. We care about winning, but we also care about how the game is played. Fairness, compassion and justice are part of the Democratic playbook.

    It is essential that we Democrats not succumb to the temptation to vilify one another. Yes, we have great differences in this contentious year. And yes the struggle for the party's nomination is probably far from over.

    But as Mr. Roe and Mr. Cruz should remind us, even with those differences, there is far more that should pull us together than split us apart.

    So let us strive to be civil for the rest the primary season, let us work to debate our genuine differences on real issues, and let's let the voters decide which candidate they believe should represent our large and diverse party this November. And let us then come together as New Democrats and old Democrats behind the nominee of our party.

    We are better. All we have to do is show it and we will win.

  29. "Fairness, compassion and justice are part of the Democratic playbook."
    That's a bit naive. Politicians are politicians. Look up what Kennedy did to Humphrey in West Virginia, Johnson's graveyard votes, and watch HIllary tee off on Bernie.

  30. Naive.

    Enjoy President Trump's inauguration on January 20, 2017 with that mentality.

  31. Wow, that's just awful! All those dirty tricks! Kinda makes one pine for the squeaky clean campaigns of yesteryear. Like in 1828, when John Quincy Adam's handlers circulated rumors that Andrew Jackson was an adulterer and his wife Rachel a bigamist.

  32. True enough. The Jefferson campaign circulated rumors that John Adams was insane.

  33. Glenn Baldwin: Is the fact that dirty tricks have been done to political opponents since the beginning of this country supposed to make us feel better? How about we learn and say, "No more dirty tricks" to people such as this. If you can't win fair, really, you shouldn't be allowed to play. Isn't that what America is about? Fairness and level playing field?

  34. So what is your point? That this is just the way things should be? We had slavery and institutionalized sexism back then, too.

  35. Amusing how now the Cruz campaign is now being played by Trump in order to take down Rubio. Trump needs Cruz to suck all the votes away from a Rubio surge.
    All three of these 'top' candidates are appallingly bad, yes, including Rubio. Rubio's blather is just as toxic as the other two, merely glossed over with a less harsh delivery.
    Once Cruz and Trump have a good go a Rubio he will be toast. His financial dealings and lack of experience are soon to hoist him onto his own petard. Then the GOP will be stuck with the two biggest sleazes of them all.

  36. The actual expression is "hoist BY his own petard." A petard is a bomb. Hoist, in this sense, means blown into the air.

  37. When you're running a business, you pay special attention to the people who are going to represent you publicly, since they are carrying your message directly. No surprise that Cruz hired Roe and Tyler, since they are all sneaky and devious, the type of people who make you want to take a shower after being in the same room with them. (Nixon's Donald Segretti also comes to mind.)

    Watch for the next step: Tyler was "fired" but don't be surprised if he is the head of a new shell company, and that this company is soon hired to take over communications (and dirty tricks) for the sleazy Cruz campaign. Wherever Roe goes, he'll hire amoral people who will stop at nothing to win. As if Cruz himself isn't bad enough, these guys magnify the ugliness and dishonesty that is at the heart of everything Cruz.

  38. Don't forget the Father Of All Sleaze Lee Atwater and his progeny Karl Rove. These two people have had a big part in the ruination of the American values of fair play. Willie Horton, the Swift Boaters, the black bastard child on and on....truly disgusting. And this man is just part of that line of immoral, unethical behavior.

  39. Bluevoter- I want to take a SHOWER after READING this!! Cruz and his campaign operatives are the slimiest of the slime and beyond disgusting. God help us if he wins the presidency. I actually had a moment of empathy for Rubio and Carson. Are these candidates truly the best America can offer? What an embarrassment the republicans are on the world stage. Trump or Cruz won't have to build a wall, if elected, the illegals will leave on their own as will Americans who have the means to expatriate. My husband and I would leave as well if we had the financial means to take our children, their spouses and families with us. I am embarrassed to call myself an American. We have collectively lost our minds. I heard someone from NV earlier today expressing his support of Trump for the NV caucus. When asked by the radio host that Trump has not explained how he would implement his proposals and policies the man couldn't have cared less and said that Trump was holding his cards close to the vest until he won the candidacy then he would reveal his magical policies. "Just trust me"!! How many more ignorant voters are out there like this man who is going on blind faith? What a scary place this nation has become!

  40. Because of people like Roe, Atwater, Rove, and their ilk, including the thousands who fill these roles below the Presidential campaign level, most qualified and talented people run swiftly in the opposite direction when asked to consider running for public office. It takes a megalomaniac, or at least someone with a *very* high sense of self-esteem, to take that step. When they do, they implicitly agree to expose every tidbit of their lives (and that of their family) to the world, and to the lies and misrepresentations of opposing campaigns. There was once a time when people talked about running for office as a form of public service, but in today's environment, no normal person would want to do this.

    It was once considered an honor to meet the President, but the Republicans have turned this into a basis for an attack. So a majority of members of Congress would never allow themselves to be photographed with the President, let alone to shake his hand. Note that one of Cruz/Roe/Tyler's dirty tricks was to Photoshop Rubio into a picture that made it look as if he was going for a handshake with Obama. And we all know what happened to Chris Christie after hugging Obama in the Hurricane Sandy aftermath. Sadly, I could never get a photo or handshake with Obama either, since I don't have the money to buy my way into one of his fundraising event.

    That's the other key point about running for office today - it's inherently corrupt, forcing everyone to constantly raise money.

  41. Baseball was designed for two teams to compete in a manner that would showcase tactical prowess and athleticism all in a codified context that celebrates fair play.

    No, Mr. Roe, it seems rather apparent that America's pastime would not be a good fit for you.

  42. Hmm, seems to me all the major sports exemplify a similar morality as Cruz and his gang - do whatever it takes to win, stretch the rules or break them, and keep it up until you get caught. Steroids? Pine tar? Stealing other team's signals? Hand-checking? The list goes on and on. Our national pastimes are simply a reflection of our exceptional winning-is-everything culture.

  43. The company you keep matters a lot. In politics, how someone wins tells you just about everything you need to know about how they will govern. To borrow a legal term, the preponderance of evidence tells me that Ted Cruz is completely devoid of any morality. He is only about winning, very narrowly defined as defeating an opponent, regardless of the broader consequences. His religiosity is a complete sham and would be discarded if he thought it was good politics. So, the Republican field is down to the immoral, the amoral, the slightly decent and the lost, with the slightly decent and the lost fading fast.

  44. Unfortunately, the very attributions that paint a negative picture of Jeff Roe are the ones that the Republican base holds dear, if Donald Trump's rising star is any indication. The ability to pummel your opponent with insults and half-baked accusations apparently proves a candidate's Presidential mettle to these folks. So Jeff Roe fits right in.

  45. Ted Cruz is accountable for what his campaign does not those he hires. Who will he fire for errors if he ever gets to the White House...everyone else, of course.

  46. "Mr. Roe has steered Mr. Cruz’s onetime long-shot presidential bid into contention."

    I respectfully disagree. You have to look at it another way. What Mr. Roe has done is pull back the curtain to reveal, with no doubt left, the cynical, deceitful, underbelly of foulness that is Ted Cruz.

    Just like lemmings off a cliff, there are those who will follow. They will follow a man who wants to lead the government he despises. A man who wants to drag us back to the stone age and pull back or reverse our most important rights--all while he basks in the glow of the sands in the Middle East. No, Mr. Roe's sick tactics have done a great service in a paradoxical way. He turned Cruz's "long shot" into a million-to-one shot.

  47. Unfortunately, Mr. Roe has been successful. I have witnessed it in NW Missouri several times, including battles for state reps, senators, and district/county judges. The tactics are as you describe, but they work. He has helped turn what used to be a blue collar democratic region into a republican stronghold.

  48. OK. I stopped at the 'holstered bottle to use as a spittoon'.

    Sounds like a very gross individual. And so representative of Mr. Cruz, another gross - and dangerous - individual.

    No, thanks. May they both go far, far away. And soon.

  49. And we are to believe that the politicians swimming with these sharks and cavorting with the vampire squids of the world such as Goldman Sachs have not thumbed their big noses at American democracy. Ha!

    Watch the race to the bottom folks and don't forget to count each and every super delegate that jumps the shark on the voter's choice before the voting has even commenced. This newspaper is as far as you need to look for misleading delegate reporting and the attempted skewing of outcomes.

  50. For my money, you can toss the Clintons into that Republican bag of snakes. They sold tickets to the Lincoln Bedroom, trash-talked Obama when he began to pull ahead in '08.

  51. And the Clinton war room was so much more ethical in Bill's two presidential campaigns, or during Hillary's current run for the White House, right?

  52. Paul,

    I'm not necessary a Clinton supporter, but if you have names and facts, lay them out. Otherwise your comment adds nothing to the discussion.

  53. I saw Jeff Roe and my first thought was, "OH, geez - Karl Rove has been reincarnated!"

    Then it occurred to be that he's not dead yet. (Apologies to Monty Python...)

    The next thought to ricochet (get it?) through my brain: "The GOP is cloning! I thought they opposed that stuff."

    Roe makes me a little squeamish, too.

  54. Karl who?

  55. I don't understand how Cruz gets any votes. Do the people that vote for him just take him at whatever he says without doing any research? Anyone who looks into his background would realize he's disliked for valid reasons. His past actions reek of self promotion at whatever cost. The government shutdown is the perfect example. He cost us billions on a stunt that he knew wouldn't work just to enhance his brand. I don't understand who votes for him.

  56. You don't understand who votes for him and you never will. Be glad for that.

  57. You can say the same for the construction worker from New York. How does he get any votes? Are his supporters listening to the same man that I do, sometimes. I can't believe that so many Americans are being hoodwinked.

    It would be interesting to see if he (Trump) and Hillary both becomes the nominee for their respective parties, who would win New York.

    My money would be on Hillary

  58. For reference, I have met Robby Mook (Hillary's campaign manager) and he is the most down-to-Earth person you could imagine in such a position. Engaging, friendly, forthcoming, and most of all relatable to that vast majority of Americans who want a clean campaign and honest elections.

  59. Did he also send out the nasty report cards in Iowa and the news release that Carson had dropped out?

  60. It's people like this that are what's wrong with politics today. And,in particular, the Republican win-at-any-cost party.

  61. When we elect Presidents, we get the staff they bring along with them. George W. brought along Karl Rove and Dick Cheney, and people like Paul Wolfowitz, and one of my all time favorites - he lost an election to a dead candidate - John Ashcroft.

    Who would Cruz bring with him? If Jeff Roe is typical, we can expect someone who is so forward looking, he doesn't stop to see if he left tire tracks n the people he ran down in his path. A campaign is brutal. The person behind it should be human.

  62. a reputation for scorching earth, stretching truths pretty much says it all for politics in America. It is not how you win, just win at all costs. Facts don't matter, winning matters.

  63. Hard to believe that Roe could offend someone whose family hired Lee Atwater and Karl Rove.

  64. In 2012 Mr. Roe's counsel was not enough to prevent Rick Perry's "Oops" moment, let alone stop the bleeding.

    He's got some clever dirty tricks, but its doubtful he would have been prepared to go up against the likes of David Axelrod, Stephanie Cutter, or Jim Messina.

  65. Cruz, himself, encompasses all these Jeff Roe tactics.

  66. Is there anyone who is more inclined to vote for Cruz after reading about the schoolyard bully he's brought in to manage his campaign, and his comfort at ignoring or misrepresenting the truth? Truly, the elders of the Republican party have allowed the crazies to turn it into the Repugnant party.

  67. It's a mathematical impossibility for me to be less inclined to vote for Mr. Cruz after reading this article than I was before reading it, but this stuff isn't anything new, and Mr. Roe isn't doing anything that the likes of Rove, Carville and countless others have employed in the course of winning elections (although he seems less skilled at establishing plausible deniability than most recent examples).

  68. Politics, never the best example of human integrity, has devolved so much that nothing even makes me flinch any longer.
    Once the home of the best of the best, its now pretty much the worst of the worst.
    While the presidency and senate elections don't have much room to change, updating the house to proportional representation within a state instead of gerrymandered districts could go a long way to quieting down the rhetoric. We'd all get to vote for our champion and maybe even get to see some of them elected, but we'd govern from the middle out instead of from the fringe in.

  69. devolved? Not really, there is a long standing tradition of these tactics in our presidential elections, dating back to the election of 1796 ... and if anything, this stuff is tame compared to past incidents.

  70. Don't take the focus off of Cruz by writing about his subordinates. The man embodies the evil edge of evangelicals that would deport all immigrants (does the Bible call for that?). Do we really want a president that appears to be hated by just about everyone that has had to deal with him?

  71. Mr. Roe probably has a first class brain, at least in the Machiavellian sense. Too bad he uses it in such a sordid and destructive manner. In this of course he is the perfect reflection of his political "master" - Ted Cruz.

  72. Blame not P.T. Barnum for the suckers. If Missouri voters fell for, rather than laughed at, the advertisement with the XXX, I have a hard time feeling they were deceived. Instead, they have allowed their ignorance and prejudice to be their guide. For too long, instead of confronting this kind of thing, Democrats and progressives have simply been all indignant. And that is the key to the success of someone like Roe. If a candidate makes the campaign about her/his ideas or plans or projects, and continues calmly doing so, this kind of thing can be bypassed. But they make it about their own egos, all too often. And the voters follow the press and make it all about the campaign instead of the end of the campaign, governance. Don't blame Roe, blame the system.

  73. Dirty tricks maestro running a big time political campaign? What else is new? The most fascinating part of this dust-up (for me anyway), was the issue in question. As I understand it, this Rick Tyler guy tried to make Rubio look bad for seeming to put limits on the all encompassing knowledge contained in the Bible. Rubio corrected the allegation by saying that what he really said was something along the lines of...."There's no question you might have, young man, that this book doesn't have the answer to". Really? Where are the instructions on how to build a computer, or make electricity, or an internal combustion engine? Or.....What is molecular biology? What are tectonic plates? How do the tides work? What order are the planets in? How hot is the sun? I guess I must have the Cliff-Notes version of the Bible because I can't find a thing about any of that in there.

    Whatever other wisdom it contains notwithstanding, the number of questions the Bible doesn't have an answer for would fill a book a thousand times longer than War and Peace. In a sane world it wouldn't be a smear or a negative to point out this obvious truth. What does it say, that a majority of voters require a candidate to have more faith in religious superstition than the real, rational world?

    Question: When did the "Evangelicals" take over the country? And if they haven't, why are they being allowed to pick the next president? To me, they are a small mouse that makes a big shadow.

  74. Read "One Nation Under God" by Kevin Kruse and you'll learn the 'evangelicals' took over with the election of Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was recruited by Billy Graham on the instructions of his Christian Libertarian CEO sponsors.
    An excerpt of the Kruse book was in NYT last summer.

  75. Is it possible that Americans are not seeing the terrifying irony that Cruz's manager has been fired for attempting to smear Rubio over his not taking the Bible literally? For implying that Rubio is not religious enough?

    Jesus in heaven, I do not want the President of the United States to take the Bible literally. Cruz makes my blood run cold.

  76. Then you can't vote for either Rubio OR Cruz because they are tripping over themselves to declare the absolute truth in every word of the Bible - even though many of those words say the opposite of other words.

  77. The Cruz campaign, with Roe at the helm, reminds us most clearly why conservative, religious fanatics, should not be allowed anywhere near the reins of power. In a very short period of time, the Cruz campaign has again and again shown the American people that spiritual behavior is totally foreign concept to them.

    Ted Cruz is simply a tool of the far right 1% and his goal is to defund all of the terrific programs that help the American people. Only an asleep fool could fall for the charade he is running on.

  78. The most dangerous candidate for our country is Mr. Cruz. Any person who believes in the "end of Days' theological cult is more likely than others to believe that starting a nuclear war will be doing "God's Work".

    Don't mess with the missionary man as he thinks he knows god's mind and thinks he speaks for god - therefore, his decisions come directly from god.

    I'm not a believer in the divine right of Ted (or any other over-the-top religious leader) to rule.

    Look at the mess theocracy has made of so much of the Middle East.

  79. Don't mess with a missionary man.
    Don't mess with a missionary man.
    From Eurythmics

    Well the missionary man
    He's got God on his side.
    He's got the saints and apostles
    Backin' up from behind.
    Black eyed looks from those Bible books.
    He's a man with a mission
    Got a serious mind.

    There was a woman in the jungle
    And a monkey on a tree.
    The missionary man he was followin' me.
    He said "stop what you're doing."
    "Get down upon your knees."
    "I've got a message for you that you better believe."

  80. Birds of a feather flock together.

  81. There are only two possible scenarios -either Cruz knew what his campaign manager was doing or he didn't know. If he knew what Roe was doing then that is just more evidence that he is as deceitful as many people already believe him to be. If he didn't know what his own campaign manager was doing then that speaks volumes about his managerial capabilities, or lack thereof. Either way, I can't see how any rational person would want Ted Cruz to be our President.

  82. No 'rational' person does. He doesn't appeal to rationality. Among Rubio, Cruz and Trump, Trump really is the only rational choice.

  83. Sounds like the perfect campaign manager for Hillary where he'll learn from the pros about filthy, dirty politics.

  84. Love your posts; if only they could be reprinted in their original crayon color.

  85. The god-fearing, bible-quoting, fetus-loving, gay-bashing (literally) evangelicals who flock to Ted Cruz don't care about any of this. As long as Ted Cruz vows to make the US a Christian nation, he will have no problem with this voting block - his campaign's ethics are unimportant.

  86. Cruz claims his campaign holds to "the highest standards of integrity."

    SINtegrity is more like it!

  87. I am not a fan of Ted Cruz but this article is not doing Mr. Cruz any favors. I cannot help but think this column is meant to discourage voters for Mr. Cruz and open the door further for Marco Rubio, the chosen one of the Republican candidates.

  88. Everyone bemoans the existence of such despicable politics - yada yada yada - but winning is the be-all and end-all of the electoral process. It surpasses philosophy, goals, information and, of course, the truth. But such operatives here described know the average voter. Anything appearing in an ad or a phony news article or TV spot demeaning of an opposition candidate to is absolute truth to the vast majority of viewers. And look at Trump and his inaccurate and spurious re-tweets, passed on with the meaningless admonition to “let the voters decide”. Just gets him more votes. George W. Bush may not have deserved the presidency, but despite a few grumbles, president he was. It doesn’t bother such vanquishers as “conscience” does not often appear in most political dictionaries.

  89. Roe's power is akin to Carl Rove's, the devious guy that put "W" on the political map and, unfortunately, contributed in making him governor of Texas and then president of the U.S., with awful consequences we still grapple with today, and paid in totally unjustified blood and treasure. 'Ted' is perhaps even worse, a radical right wing republican ideologue who, in the name of 'purity', wouldn't hesitate to trash the country while disposing of all and any worthwhile deeds of the Obama administration (incidentally, the destruction of the country he was born in, Canada). Not that the other establishment candidate is any less radical in nastiness (and is not called Trump, who has no convictions that are not negotiable, a mark of opportunism). How is it even possible that a sizable segment of the electorate believes in bluster and circus? Are we so misinformed, so prejudiced, as to allow charlatans to prosper, to cheat on us?

  90. Yes.

  91. What are Mr. Roe's connections to the Koch brothers and other brands of dark money?

  92. Oh, this is rich. The Rubio campaign complaining about Big Lies from Ted Cruz -- and his campaign.

    Big Lies, designed to be repeated over and over again to embed them in the consciousness of voters -- "Well, it must be true, everyone is saying it!" - are stock in trade on the stump for Marco when it comes to his wind-up Jeremiad against Barack Obama.

    Yes, the one that even Chris Christie, not unaccustomed himself to stretching the truth into truthiness -- so embarrassingly caught Rubio out on in the New Hampshire debate.

    But, hey, if it's about Democrats: IOKIYR.

  93. Wonder which GOP candidate will pick up Roe after Cruz finally falls by the wayside? Trump? Rubio? One thing for sure is that he won't be out of a job for long. GOP politicos never mind toxicity as long as it succeeds. Just ask Jeb's brother and dad.

  94. People would probably laugh if Trump did this stuff. They expect it. He's a sleazeball, but he hasn't tried to don the mantle of moral superiority. When Cruz claims to be holier-than-thou, he should expect to be judged by a higher standard. He can't get the benefits of showing off his alleged piety without facing the drawbacks.

    It's similar to the way Republicans get upset that Democrats are judged less harshly for extramarital affairs than they are. It's true, because Democrats don't typically claim to have superior "family values" that everyone else should follow, while most Republicans do proclaim that.

    Of all sins, hypocrisy is the most deserving of mockery.

  95. Ted's a Dominionist.
    They believe that anything is allowable if it furthers their goal of overturning our government as we know it and establishing a theocracy.

  96. I think most agree Carson should leave the race. Although he might make a good President, he's failed to ignite the public's passions & not adding much to the debate.

    Plus, Rubio may be the one that stretched the truth. The Mormon Bible is not your everyday Bible, but one that has numerous modifications to it (made by Joseph Smith). More importantly, the main body of religious doctrine for Mormons is the Book of Mormon & the Doctrine & Covenants.

    So, there is something wrong with Rubio allegedly saying that all the answers could be found in the Bible, isn't there? Which Bible was it, the King James version? Or the Mormon Bible? And if that is what Rubio really said, how could he have meant it & been true to his faith?

  97. You lost me at "Carson.....he might make a good President."

  98. "Mr. Roe is pithy and profane."
    "...he chews Red Man Golden Blend tobacco, holstering a plastic soda bottle as a spittoon."
    ... and a rare moment of introspection inspires him to articulate some weird kind of support for a criminal.
    Sounds like a wonderful man to be around.

  99. Ted Cruz Operative "Ben Carson is out of the race"

    Hillary Operatives (DNC/NY Times) "Bernie Sanders faces an insurmountable deficit of Super Delegates and therefore Hillary Clinton is Inevitable.

    What, pray tell is the difference??

  100. One is an apparent factual statement, that was apparently no factual, the second is a clear statement of opinion (the difference between claiming the opponent has dropped out of the race and that the opponent has no chance of winning the race). If one can't tell the difference between the two statements (and I say this as someone who doesn't particularly care for any of the major candidates), then maybe their moral compass needs to be realigned.

  101. Don't you know? Cruz is one of those disgusting evil racist Republicans.

    Hillary is Democrat. She is the protector of Obama's legacy and a Democrat. She is a Democrat who is friend to children and small animals. She is a warm, loving Democrat protector of all women. She is eminently qualified to be President because she is a woman and a Democrat. She is a Democrat that has been especially those women who have been victimized by a man.

    Oh, and did I mention that she is a Democrat?

  102. One is an opinion and one's a lie. Pretty clear.

  103. The FTC famously sued Campbells Soup for adding marbles to a bowl of soup to keep the vegetables from sinking, because it was considered misleading. How do political campaigns, time and time again, get away with this kind of deceit and lies?

  104. Well, I think it's because when people buy soup, they expect to get a pure and honest product. With politicians, people have no such expectations.

  105. I suspect it has something to do with the quality of the American electorate.

  106. It's that "American Exceptionalism" we keep hearing about.

  107. Mr. Roe sounds like everything we expect in a campaign strategist, and these dirty tricks are par for the course (remember the Robo-Calls regarding McCain's adopted daughter leading up to the South Carolina primary in 2000?).
    It may be an indictment of the way our political process works, but such spuriousness have been part and parcel of election season since the days when the proponents of the Federalists and Thomas Jefferson's Second American Revolution first butted heads and established the two party system.

  108. A strategy of making opponents (deservedly or not) look as bad as possible will certainly help you win some battles. But in the end voters will choose someone capable of creating good. And that won't be Mr. Cruz.

  109. McCarthy clone, creepy.

  110. As outrageous as negative campaigning gets, why is it so effective? Remember Rove\Bush's attack on John McCain in South Carolina in 2000? Or how about Max Cleland's campaign? Often negative campaigns is so outrageous and easily seen as repugnant -- yet those who pull the trigger invariably win. Why?

  111. No they don't and neither will Cruz.. And he isn't leading in tx either!!

  112. Cruz probably won't win the Republican race -- but that's not clear yet is it. But he **did** win Iowa, right? And, did he **not**employ dirty tactics there against Carson? I'm just asking out loud if a political scientist can explain why people vote for candidates who engage in over the top negative campaigns? It just seems like those who do always win.

  113. Rove ran a whisper campaign on popular Governor Ann Richards and it tragically yielded George Bush a win. Ugh.

  114. Ted Cruz hiring Jeff Roe to do such filthy work for winning power and elections doesn't seem to be following the positive values of Christianity. Hmmm....

  115. For this Republican voter another reason to say anyone but Cruz.

  116. Trump?

  117. My problem is that could be true for pretty much all of them. Anyone but Trump, anyone but Carson, anyone but Rubio, even anyone but Kasich to a degree. I could vote for Kasich but the highwaymen that have taken over the party will prevent him from surviving the primary season. Same was true for me with Huntsman in the last cycle.

    Best I can hope for out of this cycle is continued government stalemate and dysfunction. Fairly sad really.

  118. And so the tradition-bound GOP continues with yet another of its more reprehensible practices: the scorched earth campaign; the win at all costs campaign; the do-whatever-it-takes campaign. All done with the usual hypocritical disregard for decency, morality, honesty, or just about any virtue that might get in the way. This from the self-identified party of family values, and, most hypocritically, from the campaign claiming most loudly to be the bearer of the faith.

    In modern terms, the practice goes back to Nixon and his dirty tricks campaign (which included a young K Rove); with Reagan we had Ed Rollins and his bag of tricks; with Bush 1 we had Lee Atwater and Willie Horton-style ads; with Bush 2 we got Karl Rove and the anything goes campaign, complete with slander and libel-like treatment of both Democrats-swift boating Kerry- and primary opponents-John McCain and the black child insinuations. And that's just to mention the campaigns and operatives of their presidential winners.

    Much the same and worse happens in their state and municipal campaigns, with the tactics of Jeff Roe as a singular example. For the GOP it is always a matter of the end justifying the means. Yet, as always with people like this, the means themselves become the ends.

  119. One of the first things I learned as a political science major many years ago was that a candidate has only one purpose in life... To win. Unless you do that, the rest is rather pointless. My guess is that Mr. Roe must have aced his Pol. Sci. 101 class.

    Which leads to an obvious question, does he carry a photo of Lee Atwater in his wallet?

  120. I bet Cruz does!!

  121. Thank goodness the Democratic front runner is so much better than this.

    I mean would Hillary ever do something so low? Like sending her spokespeople to say things like, "Black lives don't matter to Bernie" or send her daughter to lie about her opponents health plan, or send a respected civil rights leader to make the innuendo that Bernie hadn't been involved in civil rights, or get 4 economists to write a critique of Bernie's economic policies that was shown to be a dishonest hatchet job.

    Cruz and Clinton, a moral mirror image.

  122. Hillary did not tell John Lewis to say anything. He asked a question and he answered the question. That was not on Hillary, and to claim it is disrespectful to John Lewis! What Clinton spokesman has ever said Black lives don't matter to Bernie Sanders?

  123. @JMC,
    Ok, you're ahead of me. Where can I find the info clarifying the hatchet job on Bernie's economic policies? I'd like to read that, please. As for the rest, you're absolutely correct. Not good. Not good at all.

    [email protected]:05 pm

  124. @HawkeyeDem,
    My understanding is that David Brock, a Clinton ally suggested this about Sanders after seeing an ad. If you've got info with Hillary disavowing his suggestion I'm definitely willing to look at it.

    I saw the clip and read Mr. Lewis's clarification. Definitely fair enough (though he might have handled it a just a little differently). Knowing his amazing history as an extremely brave human rights activist, I understand your defensiveness. I do hope that you won't be too distressed at my expressing my opinion, since that's what we're all here for.

    [email protected]:43 pm

  125. If Senator Cruz is going to fire dishonest campaign workers from his staff, he should begin by firing himself, because he dishonestly claims that liberals want "the crosses and Stars of David sandblasted off of the tombstones of our fallen veterans".

    This man is not fit to be dogcatcher, much less senator.

  126. Exactly, the press that travels with him totally ignores the plethora of lies he spews in his stump speeches. They are full of false and/or distorted statements, like the one you mentioned. The same happened with Mitt Romney in 2012, but Cruz outdoes Romney by miles. He is a complete, consistent and frankly flamboyant liar. He "fires" Tyler but, did you notice Rubio's other transgression, for which he was vilified. He accused Rubio of shaking hands with the President of the United States...........that ladies and gentlemen is an outrageous act in right wing world!

    Why are candidates not pushed to answer for standing in front of thousands of people every week and telling them statistics that are not just exaggerated, but "pants on fire" lies by writers from the NYT and other outlets?

  127. Would that be Mr. ROVE?

  128. And now we know, as if we didn't, everything that is wrong with our politics and the "leaders" they produce. No wonder there is disillusionment and disgust. Liars and cheats, and that is on a good day.

  129. Gives you an idea of what sort of people Cruz might surround himself with if elected.

  130. Ted Cruz, the "Washington Outsider" - who helped GW Bush steal the 2000 election in Florida, worked at the Supreme Court, the Texas state government, the US Senate, and is married to a Wall St. Banker - after graduating from Princeton and Harvard. An ex college roommate of his said you would be better off picking a name out of the phone book for a better president.

    This excellent profile of Jeff Roe, his campaign manager, shows us quite clearly that that these are not nice people, and their real motto seams to be - the end justifies the means. In other words - anything goes. Unfortunately for them, reality has set in, and constant display of sleazy tactics has caught up with them.

    The ending of the Bush dynasty(for now anyway) was a thrilling thing to see.
    The nipping in the bud of the Ted Cruz ascendancy will be just as joyous.

  131. @Paul Shindler,
    You said what I was thinking: machiavellian to the core. Re your last sentence,
    I really hope so.

    [email protected]:31 pm

  132. My son was at Princeton with Ted Cruz and verifies that Ted was thoroughly disliked. The only classmate who has refused to go negative on the Senator is the former debate partner he won the championship with.

  133. Jeff Roe sounds like a reincarnation of Lee Atwater. I wonder if Trump will hire him for the general election after Cruz loses. Unfortunately in the Republican party, dirty tricksters are always in demand and always fully employed.

  134. Roe and Cruz deserve each other. It'll all be good until Cruz loses. I wouldn't want this guy for a frenemy. But Cruz is a nasty piece of work, and can certainly hold his own. It would be fun to watch these two men try to ruin each other.

  135. Before Jeff Roe, there was Boogie Man Lee Atwater who destroyed several presidential campaigns of Democratic candidates by using false advertisement such as “Naked Truth” and “Swiftboat Veteran”. Winning at all cost is part of the culture of Republican Party and Jeff Roe is the product of that culture. Cruz and Roe are political soul mates and share the same political philosophy except they turned on their fellow Republican in this election cycle.

  136. Ted Cruz is the GOP's gift to Democrats. He is unelectable except by that narrow slice of the electorate who subscribe to his rigid, narrow orthodox conservatism.

    Trump is the candidate for disruption of how Washington functions. That slot is already occupied. This gives Cruz n chance to expand his base. His high negatives indicate that many voters find him neither likable nor trustworthy. He is the Republican version of the no money down, bad credit used car salesman. A voter really has to feel desperate to do business with this guy.

  137. Gallop on ~2/4 showed Cruz with net favorable of 45 and Trump 24. Why is your man's net unfavorable so much worse than Cruz's. My guess most people believe him to be untruthful

  138. Thank you for the corroborating evidence Mr. Flegenheimer, but this surprises absolutely no one, not least those who have had to suffer through his copious trail of slime all the way from the incubation of his already nakedly ambitious local political career in Houston, TX.

  139. "Deceitful. Cynical. Willing to do anything to win"?

    Sounds like a pretty good description of Cruz!

    The idea that this character DOESN'T reflect Cruz's values and (lack of) integrity, is just like claiming that Karl Rove didn't reflect George Bush's values or that Lee Atwater didn't do Reagan's bidding.

    Campaign managers do the bidding of their masters--the idea that they're somehow rogue operators is right out of Nixon's "plausible deniability" disinformation!

  140. Not in Jeff Roe's world. He is ruthless. Cruz knows he could never find another as intelligent or deceitful as Roe.

  141. Not a surprise but there is absolutely no integrity on the part of politicians and the hacks they employ to run their campaigns. Guess we get what we deserve...shame on us. A guy like Jeff Roe couldn't get hired in a non political role because no one would want to work with such a person.

  142. Have the Republicans forgotten their mind-blowing pledge to learn from their mistakes in the last 2 presidential elections? Anyone who thinks any of the top 3 Republican candidates care a lick for minorities or poor people are not just kidding themselves, they're as ignorant as the blowhard candidates. Since when is it bad politics or "not conservative enough" to care if others get a fair shake in life? Seriously, they are digging their political graves. And don't even get me started on Mitch McConnell and his proud obstructionism. I wish the Dems would get some better messaging going. The Dems need to frame the issues better and call out the hate speech and greedy policies of the other side.

  143. What is it about the Republican agenda/ideology that attracts and produces sub-humans like Roe, Rove and Atwater?
    ...while they thump the Bible at the same time?

  144. It's that they know how to lull their audience into stupored complicity by invoking the Bible while dog whistling to signal their true values: racism, patriarchy, and the all-mighty dollar.

  145. The article claims that "In 1996, he was invited to major league umpiring school. He declined, reluctantly." They must have gotten the info from Mr. Roe. It's complete bunk. ANYONE with $6,000 has an automatic invitation to MLB Umpiring School. In other words, if you got the dough, you can go. There are no entrance qualifications other than your check clearing. Plus, if he was heckled by Whitey Herzog at a Little League game, he probably stunk at umpiring anyway.

  146. Remember that scary kid in high school no one liked? That's Ted Cruz. God help us if Republicans think "Mr. shut the government down" is qualified to be hall monitor, let alone president of the United States.

  147. Cruz claimed credit for work he didn't do in Texas, and he has lied and cheated since.
    Cruz openly admits he will do anything including abort his children to get elected!

  148. Perhaps Mr. Roe should consider the words of the original scorched earth campaigner, Lee Atwater, who regretted many of his disgusting tactics when facing terminal brain cancer. "I live in the windshield..." won't cut it at the pearly gates

  149. Thank you for writing this article. I live in Northwest Missouri and have been appalled by Jeff Roe's tactics over at least the past 10 years. One omission of his trademark sleaze is the use of candidates children in his ads to attack the opposing candidate, as we witnessed with Ted Cruz and as NW Missourians can attest to with Sam Graves. These candidates don't believe in We the People. They believe in People like Us.

  150. A lot of that going around this season.

  151. To quote Mr Cruz's good book "Those that live by the sword, shall die by the sword"

  152. Is this one of ALL the answers that the bible has? Or was that one of the things that is not the answer since the bible has none (of the answers that is). Can't remember. Let's ask the Cruz campaign. They seem to have all the answers, whether they're true or not.

  153. "Scorched Earth" is just another term for I have nothing to offer you. I am vacuous and my policies are a fraud. I admit I am nasty, brutal and egocentric. My purpose as a politician is not for the betterment of the common citizen but my own self-aggrandizement. The more I hurt others, the greater my pride. I revel in my cynicism and if I should take the country down with me, history shall remember me and that is all that matters. After all, it is all about me.

  154. That sounds like "Damien in Omen"

  155. The absurd, solo, failed, Ted Cruz attempt to shutdown the federal government cost the American people, what, 20 billion dollars? All to simply advance his own name and agenda. This is obviously a man with no conscience.

  156. This is news? Cruz fairly oozes unctuousness. And that is when he is at his best. That the public are so blind to character is amazing.

  157. I'm SHOCKED ... SHOCKED ... you mean to tell me that the inheritors of the morally bankrupt Nixonian "Southern Strategy" have made common cause with the sons of Nixon's Cuban plumbers and are waging an unholy war in the name of Jesus for the withered soul of the Republican party. I can hardly believe it.

  158. "Say Amen."

  159. Roe was a well-known quantity when Cruz hired him. So, how does this decision reflect on Cruz's character?

  160. Exactly the campaign manager a God-fearing Christian like Cruz would be expected to pick.

  161. TrusTED: Because lying and cheating your way to the top is a) a constitutionally mandated right b) the American way and c) clearly sanctioned by the Bible.

  162. Positively Nixonian. Excise it like the cancer it is.

  163. Rafael "Ted" Cruz resides within the cesspool of Republicsan dirty tricks. In order to achieve plausible deniability (think Nixon and Watergate) Cruz will always be two steps removed from the trick photo or video or falsely alleged quote. Yet what really scares me is Cruz's belief that the best form of government is a theocracy. His wife ( The Goldman Sachs upper echelon employee who arranged Cruz's undeclared sweetheart loan for his campaign) has stated that what Ted wants is to put the "face of God" into politics. I guess we no longer have to wait for the second coming. Ted's here.

  164. This is interesting, but I would also like to hear more about John Kasich's "Leave It To Beaver" campaign strategy.

  165. @Jeff Barge,
    I googled after reading your comment. I looked at a video clip, etc. He might not be as loud or as over the top as the other candidates, but if you're pro-choice, etc., he's just as bad. Maybe worse if he's more subtle than the others.

    As for "Leave It To Beaver" strategy, that's a problem. Last I checked, this is 2016, not the late 50's early '60's. "..women left their kitchens..." which century--which millenium--does this man think we're in? One woman responded that she'd support him, but not from her kitchen. Well, that's her choice, regressive though it is.

    [email protected]:08 pm

  166. You are funny man! I bet that was Roe's Resume Retail Talk: "You've been running a Leave it to Beaver campaign. How's that working for you? Here's what I charge and you'll thank me everyday Mr.Presedaaint!"

  167. I guess it takes a sleaze ball to run campaign for a sleaze ball. Too bad for Roe this one isn't going to pan out. Maybe this stuff works in Missouri but he doesn't seem to have a clue what works on the national stage. His other presidential gigs were all losers too.

  168. The only way to end someone like Roe is to sue him into oblivion. If he is telling lies then sue him. If he is just not playing fair then stop whining about it. Trump has threatened to sue Cruz but nothing has been filed. File.

  169. I love a love a country where someone like Jeff Roe Can become weaithy and successful! In A better place, he'd be left in the wilderness without enough food or water.

  170. Just another Lee Atwater, I bet Mr Roe has a large house. Good for him, bad for the country.

  171. Roe was fired for exactly the same reasons he was hired. While being caught with his hands in the cookie jar, Cruz lied ( because that's what he does best! ). And the easiest scapegoat he could find was Roe. No sympathies for Roe, whatsoever but I am wondering who will be the lying-Planner next !

  172. Republicans playing dirty politics, Yawn! what's new. Roe seems to have picked up where Atwater, and Rove left off.

  173. After reading all these article about how everyone who ever worked with Cruz basically hates him, I was wondering how he got together and kept a campaign staff. Now I know, thanks to this article. The secret is apparently finding people who are even more reprehensible and disgusting than yourself, and bingo, there is your staff.

  174. Sleazy Roe is the new sleazy Rove...but one hopes in this election without the "V" for victory.

  175. People like Roe have become commonplace in Republican campaigns, with a history that goes back to Karl Rove and his mentor, Lee Attwater. Roe's scorched-earth, no-holds-barred approach to campaigning leaves little room for truth, and even less for civility. Roe is a creature of the 21st Century Republican machine.

    Given Cruz's penchant for questionable ethical choices, it's no surprise Roe's a member of the Cruz campaign.

  176. Anyone that would hire Jeff Roe to run a campaign is not fit to hold the office subject to the campaign. Roe and Cruz were made for each other. Scary stuff.

  177. Roe is the poltical heir of Lee Atwater. These people will clearly say and do anything to win including lying, cheating and stealing. While Ted Cruz has no chance of getting elected as a president, you do have to question the morals of this self-styled evangelical Christian when he is so eager to work with a man who has such a horrid reputation.

    We truly can do better as a nation. We can elevate the level of the politcal discourse in this country. That only happens though when the Roe's and Atwaters of this world are unable to find employment.

    What profiteth a man to gain the whole world if he should lose his soul in the process?

  178. Note that he talks about joining the National Guard at 17. Ask him about his time at West Point; he has a real fairy tale concerning why he left.

  179. Lee Atwater is applauding in his grave.

  180. Utterly typical of the right wing culture. No principles, no accountability, no retreat, no sense of shame. These are bad people, period. What's worse are all the gullible voters who are taken by these people, and seem to like it.

  181. Americans should drop their Pollyanna platitudes and accept that Mr. Roe and strategists like him are an essential and integral part of our democratic processes. And to win, politicians of almost every stripe will stand in line to outbid each other for the opportunity to hire men like Roe. It is not pretty, it may be best not to let the little kids see it, but it is our system. Obscene amounts of money, the science of the sell, a win at all costs ethos and strategists like Mr. Roe have given us everything a democratic nation could ever hope for, a gridlocked government, a partisan court, a congress with 10 percent approval ratings, a ham strung president, low voter turn out rates and a party system on the verge of collapse. Kudos.

  182. Sorry, Joe, but tarring everyone with the same brush is naive or utterly dishonest. There are candidates who do sleaze as their daily bread, and there are campaign consultants and managers who live and breathe this stuff, but almost all of them are Republicans. False equivalency is one of their hallmarks, which you've obviously adopted.

  183. The real tragedy here is us. The fact that these obscene tactics really do work.

    Sometimes I wonder if we all are manipulated a lot more than any of us know.

  184. Cruz 'nasty', Bush 'lied', Iraq war 'a disaster', wow, Donald Trump is reaching a level of precision and accuracy surpassing my daily newspaper. Trump 2016?

  185. Here's another one for ya soup bowl; "Birds of a feather flock together"

  186. Time for Karl Rove and his bag of dirty tricks to save the Canadian candidate.

  187. If there wasn't secret money, there wouldn't be people this bad in politics. As long as a donor can hide the money channels, and pretend to his or her community that it is someone else's money paying these types, the Ro(v)es will prosper.

  188. The Koch Brothers Bro are his biggest finance. Clear enough?

  189. One wonders who "encouraged" him, his mom? Perhaps the same people who encouraged Dr. Carson to attend West Point.