The internet has been aglow since allegations surfaced that Senator Ted Cruz may have been involved in extramarital affairs with 5 different women. The story had been circulating among journalists for weeks, apparently at the behest of Rubio allies. (We reported on that here.) Once public, the hashtag #CruzSexScandal started trending on Twitter almost immediately, collecting over 1MM tweets within 24 hours.
Just as quickly, Republican consultant Liz Mair, the woman behind attack ads on Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, outed 2 of the women whose pixelated photos appeared in the National Enquirer story that got the ball rolling. Mair runs the anti-Trump Super PAC, Make America Awesome. When the UK’s Daily Mail attempted to reach Mair for comment, an out-of-office email reply indicated she had already left for the Easter Holiday. Way to go, Liz, pull the pin on the grenade and walk out. I’m sure the ladies in question appreciate your input.
In her haste, Mair used her Twitter feed to identify Amanda Carpenter, a former Cruz staffer and current CNN contributor and Katrina Pierson, a Texas-based Tea Party activist, former Cruz operative, and current Trump spokesperson. Both women denied the allegations. Carpenter is the same woman who just a few weeks ago called for and published a blacklist of all Republican Trump supporters, demanding that they be banished from the GOP.
The hive-brain known as the internet also identified Sarah Isgur Flores from one of the Enquirer’s photos. Ms. Flores is Carly Fiorina’s former campaign manager. She has not yet made a statement. The other 2 women whose pixelated photos appear in the Enquirer story remain unidentified.
Here are Ms. Mair’s tweets outing the 2 women:
Both Carpenter and Pierson have denied the allegations. Pierson issued an unequivocal denial via her Twitter account:
Of course the National Enquirer story is 100% FALSE!!! I only speak to myself, however.
— Katrina Pierson (@KatrinaPierson) March 25, 2016
Amanda Carpenter went on CNN to tell her side of the story.
Sarah Isgur Flores has been out of sight since the story broke. She hasn’t posted to her Twitter feed, appeared on television or issued a statement. Ms. Flores role, if any, is all the more interesting because she was Carly Fiorina’s campaign manager. And the Fiorina campaign received a curious donation of $500,000 last year from the Cruz campaign at a time when the two candidates were competing with each other for the Republican nomination. The donation was so strange that it attracted the attention of the Federal Election Commission which opened an investigation. What Ms. Flores has to say about the allegations remains to be seen.
And then there are the 2 other women whose identities are not yet known. Fortunately for them, it seems they did not know Ms. Mair, so she couldn’t mention them on Twitter before leaving for a long weekend.
Alleged Cruz Mistresses Revealed
Why Liz Mair, Why?
Was she trying to help Carpenter and Pierson – to lend support in time of trouble? Or was there something else going on? It’s hard to say given Mair’s history. She and the Super-Pac she leads have been at the forefront of a so-far unsuccessful anti-Trump campaign. Their big idea was to turn Republican voters against Donald Trump by letting them know he has a beautiful wife. This is what passes for smart marketing in the GOP these days. I guess now we know why Romney and McCain got trounced. Instead of turning voters against Trump, it just made the Cruz campaign – with which the PAC is not officially aligned, but which it hopes to help – look low.
It also led to this Twitter outburst from Ms. Mair:
Perhaps Ms. Mair will weigh in on this when she returns from her break. In the meantime, let’s see if any of the others come forward. There are reports of a damning video that Rubio allies were peddling that we reported on here. If it exists, it will surface at some point.