Ted Cruz declined to answer a question on Monday about whether he has ever been unfaithful to his wife Heidi.
‘Senator Cruz,’ DailyMail.com asked him, ‘can you please swat down more definitively this National Enquirer piece by telling us on the record that you’ve never been unfaithful to your wife?’
The National Enquirer published a story last Wednesday that speculated about five women with whom the Republican presidential candidate was rumored to have had extramarital affairs.
Cruz has batted down the specifics of the story on numerous occasions since it appeared in supermarket checkout lanes.
But instead of making a blanket declaration that he has been faithful during the entirety of his 14-year marriage – a move that would effectively end the vicious news cycle – Cruz stood silently as campaign surrogate Carly Fiorina leapt in to intercept the question and change the subject.
‘This is an example of the media playing to Donald Trump’s tune,’ Fiorina, a former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, complained as she lobbed her own accusations of infidelity at the billionaire front-runner.
‘Donald trump is a serial philanderer, by his own admission,’ she said, with a flash in her eyes that betrayed disgust at the pointed question.
‘And in a week when we have had a terrorist attack in Brussels, a shooting on Capitol Hill, the president of the United States in the baseball stands with Raul Castro, and insisting that he be photographed in front of a portrait of Che Guevara with the two Castro brothers, we are talking about a scurrilous, ridiculous piece in the National Enquirer?’
‘Why do you all dance to Donald Trump’s tune?’ she demanded to know of about 15 reporters in the room. ‘Let’s talk about the issues, please!’
DailyMail.com directed the question a second time at Cruz when Fiorina had finished.
‘Senator I’m sorry, this is a very serious question about your character,’ the second question came.
‘Will you just – if the answer is, “Yes, I’ve always been faithful to my wife,” can you just say so please?’
His practised answer stuck to the more limited denial that the National Enquirer story was false, calling it ‘complete garbage.’
‘It is total lies, it was planted by Donald Trump’s henchmen, and I don’t think the people of Wisconsin or the people of America have any interest in tabloid trash.’
Declaring himself a perpetually faithful husband would be the ultimately thumb in the eye of Donald Trump and his campaign staff, who have relentlessly peppered Twitter with sexual innuendo, seemingly legitimizing the tabloid story.
Spokespersons for both the Cruz and Trump campaigns declined to comment on the record.
Political operatives including some who worked alongside Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s now-suspended presidential campaign, have steadily pitched the story of Cruz’s alleged infidelities to multiple media outlets, including DailyMail.com.
Cruz rallied on Monday for a half-hour before an audience estimated at 400, at the Central Wisconsin Convention and Expo Center in the town of Rothschild.
He hammered Trump repeatedly as a shallow politician with limited grasp of foreign policy issues and an even more limited palette of domestic policy prescriptions.
This article originally appeared on the Daily Mail.