Earlier today, Sandy Rios and Steve Deace, two conservative talk show hosts who have endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, spoke on Rios’ morning radio show about their candidate’s victory in last night’s Iowa caucuses.
Deace said “the extreme amount of bitterness” from the Huckabee, Paul and Santorum campaigns “toxified the atmosphere,” charging that their supporters were “calling people liars and, ‘You’re sell-outs,’ and ‘You’re not real Christians.’”
“I don’t want to necessarily get metaphysical but there was real spiritual warfare happening,” Deace said.
“This was more than just a political victory last night, this was a spiritual one,” he said, “and there’s a reason why Sen. Cruz, one of the first things when he took to the stage last night was ‘to God be the glory.’ I’ve never seen a candidate or a campaign have to wade through so much misleading and false material as he did the last few weeks.”
Deace said that the media, including Fox News, “fired every single bullet” at Cruz and accused Branstad of issuing “a kill order against Ted Cruz over ethanol.”
But Deace reserved his greatest fury for Huckabee, taking issue with the 2008 caucus victor’s efforts to question Cruz’s faith because the Texas senator doesn’t tithe and once seemed to downplay his opposition to gay marriage at a New York fundraiser:
Mike Huckabee ran ads in Iowa that literally called Ted Cruz a fake Christian. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was heinous, it was despicable and he ought to be ashamed. I don’t know what else to say. He’s a 60-year-old man and a former pastor and it’s just shameful. I understand being disappointed, Sandy, but the people of this state made Mike Huckabee a very wealthy man, they made him a very successful man, multiple New York Times best-sellers, five years in a row he was on Fox every night, built himself and his family a really nice beachfront home down there in Florida. And how did he do it? Because over 40,000 Iowans went through this for Mike Huckabee eight years ago. Fox and the machine said he couldn’t win and he wasn’t any good, and they did what they thought was right then and life has been pretty good.
And I say this as someone that knows Mike and likes him, I’ve been about as disappointed with Mike Huckabee and his antics for the last few weeks as I’ve ever been with a believer in the civic arena. Particularly in a small state like ours, Sandy, that has been a very huge blessing to him and to toxify the atmosphere the way that he did down the stretch — we saw a lot of men, from Mike Huckabee to Rand Paul to Rick Santorum, really reveal through adversity that the attacks they made on Sen. Cruz, ‘He’s not ready,’ ‘He’s immature,’ ‘He’s not authentic,’ that maybe we see through a mirror darkly and we ought to be looking at our own reflection first before we use a political campaign to cast aspersions on the spirituality of a fellow believer like that.
You want to rip each other’s spleens out over the issues? Hey, that’s why they play the games, and it’s good preparation for what you’ll face from the Democrats. But I thought that was just absolutely heinous. If you want to know why Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum and Rand Paul got a combined six percent last night among them? It’s because Iowans just really turned on them for the way they behaved.