Ted Cruz vehemently denied on Monday the National Enquirer report that he has had multiple extramarital affairs, calling the tabloid paper Donald Trump’s “little pet attack machine.”
During an interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly in Wisconsin, the GOP candidate said that his rival for the Republican presidential nomination was behind the piece. Instead, Cruz told Kelly that he wants to focus the campaign on issues, not personal slights.
“Those reports, they’re not a little bit true. They’re not slightly true. They’re complete made up lies,” Cruz said.
The Enquirer story alleged that Cruz, who has campaigned as a deeply religious family man with unwavering conservative values, has repeatedly cheated on his wife, Heidi.
It published five blurred photos of the supposed mistresses, who were nonetheless recognizable to political observers. Two of the women subsequently denied they had affairs with Cruz.
“That attack was complete and utter garbage,” Cruz told Kelly at the Madison Masonic Center. “It was complete lies, and it came from Donald Trump and his henchmen.”
One particular henchman for Trump that Cruz said was behind the article is Roger Stone, the colorful and sometimes maligned political consultant who worked as an advisor for Trump’s campaign until last August.
Despite officially parting ways with Trump, Stone has the driving force behind some of the more vicious attacks on the Texas senator this campaign season, Cruz said.
“Every day Roger is the attack dog for the Trump campaign,” Cruz said. “It’s what he did for Richard Nixon 40 years ago. His entire business has been dirty tricks, has been lies, has been personal smears.”
Cruz pointed out that Trump has a friendly relationship with National Enquirer publisher David Pecker.
“The National Enquirer has endorsed Donald Trump,” Cruz said. “So what it does is spread rumors and lies attacking every other candidate, and then it just praises Donald. And it’s just garbage.”
Trump has denied having any part in spreading the rumors and being behind the Enquirer story. At the same time, he has not entirely dismissive of the allegations.
“I have no idea whether or not the cover story about Ted Cruz in this week’s issue of the National Enquirer is true,” Trump said in a statement, according to the Daily Beast. “But I had absolutely nothing to do with it, did not know about it and have not, as yet, read it.”