Ted Cruz Obamacare fiasco gives CNN, media outlets fuel for backlash
The media has a knack for going through issues with a fine-toothed comb. Seldom do continuity errors or policy inconsistencies go unnoticed in the public eye, as Republican Senator Ted Cruz found out this week.
Shortly after announcing his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election, the Texas Senator told CNN that his wife would step down from her position at Goldman Sachs to support his campaign. With her resignation comes termination of her medical benefits. Cruz stated that he will seek health coverage through the federal government, colloquially referred to as “Obamacare.” Without hesitation, the media generated a hurricane of controversy at this development, as Senator Cruz has built much of his career around of his opposition of the legislation.
Immediately following this announcement, the media attacked Cruz for flip-flopping on his political beliefs. The Senator exacerbated the controversy when he decided to back pedal, redacting his statement and claiming he had no set plans for his health coverage.
The Huffington Post used the phrase “weasel words” — a phrase coined by Al Franken — to describe Cruz’s response to the criticism. Essentially, “weasel words” entail the use of nice sounding yet ultimately vague, hollow language to ensure public trust. Even from an objective standpoint, that seems accurate; Cruz’s inability to provide firm, concrete responses to this issue have only proved detrimental.
Cruz could easily have avoided controversy by releasing such delicate information from his own media source. From a campaign website or a blog, he could have spun the information in his favor, or at least softened the potential blow and public backlash. By revealing too much on CNN, he gave all the power to a third party media outlet, who in turn caused a nationwide stir.
We’ve made no secret in the past about how the media often elects to ignore important events for the sake of ratings, but politicians need to recognize and be ready to deal with that reality. As the first person to announce his candidacy, what should have been a week of celebration for Ted Cruz has become a time mired in controversy.
What do you think of Ted Cruz’s back pedaling comments on Obamacare? Let’s talk here or find me on Twitter @connerws.