Ted Cruz slams Karl Rove in his new memoir — and the political strategist is firing back
Ted Cruz didn’t just lament “some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation’s history” after the Supreme Court’s rulings on Obamacare and marriage equality late last week — he somehow also mustered up the energy to engage in a war of words with political strategist and Fox News contributor Karl Rove.
The Tea Party Senator and Republican presidential candidate is out with a new book, titled “A Time for Truth,” in which he reveals a whole host of autobiographical tidbits including claims that his Cuban-born father once tried to join Fidel Castro’s army, that he had a porn-watching session with Supreme Court justices and that Karl Rove once threatened and bullied him, a claim that Rove has already called a lie.
The all but obligatory political memoir by presidential aspirants (or sometimes not) tends to be a bore, full of forced humility and devoid of introspective honesty but conservative firebrand Sen. Cruz’s forthcoming book promises to at least be entertaining.
Cruz describes a time when as a law clerk to then Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, he had the opportunity to watch porn with Rehnquist and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor as research for a case about online porn regulation.
“We were in front of a large computer screen gazing at explicit, hard-core pornography,” Cruz explains. “A slew of hard-core, explicit images showed up onscreen … as we watched these graphic pictures fill our screens, wide-eyed, no one said a word. Except for Justice O’Connor, who lowered her head, squinted slightly, and muttered, ‘Oh, my.’”
Cruz also discusses his father’s failed attempt to join Fidal Castro’s army and tells of the time he showed up to an Ivy League admissions interview hungover, but it is his account of political strong-arming by Texas political operative Karl Rove that is most juicy.
The conservative blog Brietbart.com, published an excerpt of Cruz’s book, highlighting the tale of intimidation by Rove after Cruz sought George H.W. Bush’s endorsement for Texas Attorney General back in 2009:
“Karl had found out about my meeting with George H.W. Bush and called me on the phone. He was irate, demanding, ‘What in the hell do you think you are doing?!”
Rove was “in the process of helping raise money for the George W. Bush presidential library in Dallas,” and that “Texas donors were giving the Bushes tens of millions, including major donors who were supporting the Dallas state rep who wanted to run for attorney general,” so those donors “were now berating Karl.”
“Yeah, well I didn’t think you were going to get support from 41.”
“He suggested that the elder Bush was too old to have good judgment anymore.”
“Return the check,” Rove replied.
“Well, I can’t do that,” Cruz responded. “We already deposited it.”
“I pointed out that under Texas’s election law, we had to list the contribution on our ethics disclosure report,” Cruz wrote, noting that Rove “paused for a few seconds.”
“All right, fine,” Rove told him. “Then I want you to do nothing whatsoever to draw attention to it.”
And then he pulled out the hammer. He implied that if I made any news about Bush 41’s support, then Bush 43 would endorse my opponent and come out publicly for him—a threat that was fairly striking given that I had devoted four years of my life to working as hard as I could helping to elect Bush and serving in his administration. I always wondered whether Karl had the authority to make these threats on behalf of the former president—he certainly acted like he did.