Ted Cruz ‘caught telling lies’ when challenged over links to ‘death to gays’ pastor
Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz has been accused of telling brazen lies – after claiming he immediately condemned a pastor who said gays should be put to death.
Senator Cruz attended the National Religious Liberties Conference in November last year, sharing the stage with extremist pastor Kevin Swanson.
At the event Swanson gave a speech introducing Cruz, in which he said: “Yes, Leviticus calls for the death penalty for homosexuals! Yes, the Apostle Paul does say that homosexuals are worthy of death! His words, not mine, and [screaming] I AM NOT ASHAMED! I am not ashamed of the truth of the word of God!”
Senator Cruz was at the event throughout the speech.
Just minutes after the call for gays to be put to death, Swanson introduced Cruz to the stage, and the pair were filmed warmly shaking hands.
Cruz then took part in a Q&A with Swanson before giving a keynote speech. He did not reference Swanson’s comments at any point, nor signal any sort of disapproval for anything said.
Following the rally his campaign ignored requests to condemn Swanson, who also claims that parents should drown children who want to read Harry Potter.
In fact, in November Cruz’s spokesperson told reporters that the calls for the execution of gay people were “not explicit” enough for his campaign to condemn.
After repeated pressure on the issue, the Cruz campaign eventually did eventually concede that “it was a mistake for Senator Cruz to appear at the event” – in a statement quietly sent to one media outlet more than a month later.
PinkNews published twenty-three articles questioning the link between Cruz and Swanson before Cruz conceded the mistake.
But despite lengthy records showing Cruz ignored requests to condemn Swanson, and despite literal film footage of him speaking at the event un-phased by the comments, the Senator is now insisting he spoke out immediately.
He told the John and Ken Show this week: “[Swanson] was an individual I didn’t know, I’d never met him. I went to a conference on religious liberty because it is an issue I care very much about.
“After the conference, his comments were drawn to my attention and I denounced them at the time, I think they’re wrong, I totally disagree with them.
“I didn’t know this fellow and when I saw what he said, I came out publicly and said I disagree with what he’s saying.”
Unfortunately, his claims is objectively not true.
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Not only was he aware of the comments without condemning them- but Cruz was actually warned about the pastor’s ‘death to gays’ views before the conference even took place.
In a CNN interview days before the conference, Jake Tapper directly warned him about Swanson’s views and urged him not to attend.
Tapper said: “You are speaking at a conference this weekend, the National Religious Liberties Conference in Des Moines. It’s organized by a guy named Kevin Swanson.
“You’ve been very outspoken about what you deem liberal intolerance of Christians, but Kevin Swanson has said some very inflammatory things about gays and lesbians.
“He believes Christians should hold up signs at gay weddings holding up the Leviticus verse, instructing the faithful to put gays to death because what they do is an abomination.”
But Cruz insisted: “Religious liberty [is] a passion of mine and has been for decades and I have been fighting for religious liberty for everyone.”
Right Wing Watch, which had also repeatedly warned about Swanson’s views before the convention even took place, has accused Cruz of attempting to “rewrite history”.