Hey, that dude looks like Breitbart!


Oh, goody, the 2016 presidential campaign has descended into that inevitable phase where one campaign accuses another of hatin' on the Holy Bible. Thanks to some really muddy audio in a short video clip of Marco Rubio encountering Ted Cruz's weird evangelist daddy and a Cruz aide in a hotel lobby, the Cruz campaign hinted Sunday that maybe, just maybe, Marco Rubio had casually dismissed the Bible as a book with "not many answers in it." Not so! insisted the Rubio campaign -- what Marco had actually said was that the Bible has "all the answers" in it. After looking into it further, the Cruz campaign decided maybe Marco Rubio hadn't dissed the Bible after all, and apologized.

So here's the dealio: The Daily Pennsylvanian ran a story Saturday with a snippet of video caught by a student journalist. As Marco Rubio passes a table in the Columbia Hampton Inn, where both candidates were staying, he says something to Daddy Cruz and Cruz aide Christian Collins. According to the Daily Pennsylvanian, here's what happened:

“Got a good book there,” Rubio said to Collins, a young Cruz staffer in a suit, about the book he was reading over his cup of coffee.

“Not many answers in it, especially that one” Rubio added tersely and walked out of the lobby without a backward glance.

Collins was visibly taken aback after being addressed by his boss’ political rival. Rafael Cruz and Collins proceeded to discuss under the incident [sic] in hushed voices for several minutes.

[contextly_sidebar id="9qDuxHrllA7HBzi34gMMJ1vjMRyfuF8d"]The paper innocently mused, "Wish we knew what book he was reading (perhaps Ted Cruz's A Time for Truth?)" and then later posted an update confirming that the book was in fact a Bible. Shocking! Marco Rubio just dismissed the foundational document not only of his alleged faith, but also of America itself! Seems like a perfectly reasonable thing for a Republican presidential candidate to do, especially right in front of the father of one of his rivals.

Here's the video; we suggest closing your eyes and seeing if you can make any sense of the dialogue at all:

We tried, with headphones, and all we could make out was "Got a good book there." "Yes, sir!" "Gravity answers. Especially knockers."

Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler linked to the DP article (hey! that's their logo!) on Facebook and twitter, with the teasing question "what book was it?"

[contextly_sidebar id="gSYlKPpgCtEIt4J4uZbRkX8OMyy9nKKk"]Rubio spokesman Alex Conant was quite upset at this dirty tricksterism, and complained on the Tweeterz that his boss had been misquoted, pointing out that he was right there and heard Rubio praising the Bible. Conant linked to a second version of the video with the dialogue in which the subtitles have Cruz saying "All the answers are in there," which is probably more in character with a guy who keeps going on and on about his faith like every other Republican since forever.

Tyler eventually deleted his tweet, but left up the Facebook post for a little while longer before posting a very sincere apology:

Tyler appears to have confirmed with Mr. Collins that Rubio "made a friendly and appropriate remark" about the Bible, so let's all just agree to get along, and that the Bible does in fact contain all the answers. Although it would have been nice if God had told Moses more about penicillin and less about the evils of mixing wool and cotton fibers.

As for the Daily Pennsylvanian, which started the faux foofaraw, they've now updated their article with a video containing no captions, and with the supposed “Not many answers in it" quote removed from the article text altogether. They've kept the headline "Marco Rubio has awkward confrontation with Rafael Cruz, Cruz staffer," although with the key line deleted, it's now utterly unclear what was "awkward" about it.

Now all we need is an explanation of what sounds like someone saying "Fuck the media" in the last second of the video. We're betting both campaigns want to claim credit for that one.

Update: Rick Tyler has been asked to resign by the Cruz campaign. Cruz told reporters that Tyler is a "good man" and that he properly deleted the tweet and Facebook posts once he found out that Rubio hadn't disparaged the Bible. Nonetheless, Cruz added, "We are not a campaign that is going to question the faith of another candidate for President," and so Tyler got his walking papers. And, one supposes, a prayer that he'll find other employment soon.

[Mediaite / Daily Pennsylvanian / Mediaite again / Update: TPM]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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