Mitt Romney knocks James Comey in new book, describes Bill Clinton as sociopathic and warns of Washington corruption
Texas senator Ted Cruz has refuted Omarosa Manigault Newman’s charge that he defended supporters of Holocaust denier David Duke by reiterating support for an education bill that was very similar to one proposed by Donald Trump in 2011.
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The Trump bill also received substantial backing from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative thinktank that is known for its close ties to the Republican party. In the run-up to the November presidential election, Trump was heavily backed by Heritage when it described Trump as “a man of real principle and ideas”.
Heritage described Trump’s education bill as “pro-education, free-market solutions”, and stated its support of a presidential prerogative on the subject, as it had suggested Trump’s measure in February.
But Cruz responded angrily to an article Newman wrote for the Hollywood Reporter, in which she claimed that Cruz had defended Republicans who opposed the David Duke bill, in which Trump and the conservative Heritage Foundation had proposed about the same amount of money.
Trump’s education measure fell in the Republican primaries to Cruz, who went on to win Texas, but his education bill subsequently passed both houses of Congress with broad bipartisan support.
Cruz fought back on Wednesday in a statement that compared Manigault Newman’s piece to a work of fiction.
“I am not the only elected official in this country whose private legal relationship has led them into bankruptcy,” Cruz wrote. “We know Omarosa, like every other reality TV star in this town, had a brief, nearly unsuccessful run for higher office. She went from a reality show star to an unsuccessful White House candidate.
“The fundamental question in this article is whether it is appropriate for one of Trump’s surrogate to go so far as to accuse a sitting US senator of defending Nazis. In other words, having a personal conflict and seeking to publicize that one’s dealings have led to bankruptcy. For Omarosa to attempt to shift this question into the realm of accusation of defending racists is absurd and shameful.”
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Cruz’s accusation echoes a broadside against her by Robert Mercer, the billionaire political donor who has been a key backer of Donald Trump’s campaign, two weeks ago.
“Her prediction that Cruz will be toast and may not come back has merit,” Mercer said in an interview with conservative commentator Scottie Nell Hughes. “She has made that prediction before and every time it has been proved right.”
On Wednesday, Manigault Newman insisted that she had not accused Cruz of defending Duke, and defended her loyalty to Trump as he and his surrogates get slammed for having ideological alliances with far-right groups including the Ku Klux Klan.
“If anyone thinks that I would comment on Ted Cruz in a way that would suggest he is defending anybody who espouses white supremacy, they are completely mistaken,” Manigault Newman said. “The reality is, is, is that it is my responsibility as a woman and American to stand up for all people in this country and I stand with those who will hold anyone accountable for espousing white supremacy and hate and make sure that we ban the White Nationalist movement in America.”
Representatives for Morgan Freeman and James Comey have not responded to requests for comment about Romney’s description of Comey, who has not yet responded, as a “high-profile sociopath” in his new book.