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Columnist Lamar Hankins recently made a number of  false claims against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (“Questions that Rafael Edward ‘Ted’ Cruz won’t answer.“) The San Marcos Mercury has a responsibility not to distribute false information and should correct the record.

Specifically, Mr. Hankins asserts that Sen. Cruz asked then-Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel if Hagel had received speaking fees to address a fictional group called “Friends of Hamas.”

 This claim is flatly, verifiably false. Although others were caught by that ruse, Sen. Cruz has never once mentioned that non-existent organization, in any context.

In addition, Mr. Hankins claims that Sen. Cruz “believes that terrorism against Castro’s Cuba is always justified.” Again, flatly false and with no basis in anything Sen. Cruz has ever said.

Mr. Hankins says Sen. Cruz’s statements need better fact-checking. He should take his own advice. So should the San Marcos Mercury.

Communications Director
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz

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7 thoughts on “Letter: Sen. Ted Cruz is mad at the Mercury

  1. I sent the following response to Sean Rushton today. In his letter, he spelled my name wrong, referring to me as Haskins. The editor fixed that mistake in this post:

    March 6, 2013

    Sean Rushton
    Communications Director
    U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)
    VIA email

    Re: Your letter of complaint to the editor of the San Marcos Mercury about my column published on
    February 27, 2013

    To Sean Rushton:

    The editor of the San Marcos Mercury forwarded your letter concerning my column about Sen. Cruz and the new level of McCarthyism he has introduced in the US Senate. For the record, I would note that my name is Hankins, not Haskins. In addition and for your information, I am not employed by The Mercury, but have written a regular uncompensated opinion column for the publication since 2008.

    When I decided to write about Sen. Cruz’s inexcusable behavior during Chuck Hagel’s nomination hearing, I chose to focus on Sen. Cruz’s assertion reported in The Hill that “Hagel had failed to disclose funding sources that he has received, and that the committee had no way to know ‘if he received compensation for giving paid speeches at extreme or radical groups.’ ”   

    I did not write that Cruz actually mentioned the name of any group (though, looking back at the wording, I can see how you could have drawn that conclusion), but I did infer from what Cruz said that Cruz was referring to the “Friends of Hamas” story, but perhaps he had some other “extreme or radical groups” in mind.   My inference is supported by the full context of what I wrote, the most important point being that Sen. Cruz behaved in the manner of former Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who used innuendo and insinuation to cast aspersions on those he considered evil or unpatriotic or Communist.

    If Sen. Cruz was referring to some other “extreme or radical groups,” I request that you provide me with the names of those groups.

    Of course, a better known instance of Sen. Cruz’s use of McCarthy’s tactics came in reference to his statement that Chuck Hagel’s nomination as defense secretary “has been publicly celebrated by the Iranian government.” This assertion is so ludicrous that PolitiFact gave it their “Pants On Fire” designation. Because it was better known (at the time I wrote the opinion column) than the “Friends of Hamas” story, I focused on this “extreme or radical groups” assertion by Sen. Cruz.

    I’m sure that you also found it objectionable that PolitiFact made their own inferences about the genesis of Sen. Cruz’s assertion about Iran favoring Chuck Hagel’s nomination as Secretary of Defense.

    As for my opinion about Sen. Cruz’s views on terrorism toward Cuba, that matter can be completely cleared up if Sen. Cruz will provide full, complete, and honest answers to the questions I posed in my column. I would be pleased to receive such answers and will give them the publicity to which they would be entitled.

    Yours truly,

    Lamar W. Hankins

  2. Thank you, Mr. Hankins, for stating so clearly what I and many others consider to be a targeted character assassination of Chuck Hagel by Sen. Cruz. It is unconscionable that a government ‘leader’ should use such despicable tactics against anyone, but most especially against a Vietnam War hero and true leader.

  3. Thanks, again, Mr. Hankins for your intelligent and exemplary reply to Sen. Cruz’s Communications Director. Perhaps if all of our readers were as concerned and alert as you, more people would call out such onerous behavior. The Senior Senator from Texas, (John Coirnyn), is also a bit lacking in truthtelling, such as his recent claim that his south Texas friend’s ranch is the crossing place for “300 or more illegals every day.” Such hyperbole does nothing to move our political discussions forward, and serves only to fan the flames of hatred and fear.

  4. Brad, I wouldn’t be so quick to kiss the rear end of any politician, even if he is a United States Senator. Only Texas could produce two numb nuts ( I’m not sure if that is two words, hyphenated or one word) and most of its citizenry be caught completely unaware of the kind of idiocy they have elected. Lamar, thanks for calling BS on this poor excuse of a senator. If he’ll just start drinking heavily he will be able to step right in Joe’s shoes. He’s already got the crazy rhetoric down pat.

  5. correction…sorta The link in the article points to an invalid page, but a link to the article in the “Related” section does point correctly…

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