In a new CNN segment, Cruz sits down to grace with his family. He teaches his children how to fish. He saunters jauntily through a bucolic cornfield, a rifle perched on his shoulder. These moments have appeared in recent television ads released by the Cruz campaign or its network of PACs and interest groups. But now, we know what happens behind the scenes.
The CNN segment showcases the unedited footage from those advertisements. In the video, a reporter explains that presidential campaigns often post hours of footage publicly online so that PACs, which are legally prevented from coordinating with the campaign, can pull material for their own advertisements.
The Cruz videos are particularly revealing. Cruz presses his mother to talk about an anecdote, even after she says “that’s too personal, Ted” and “I don’t want to talk about it” and “there are some very personal details that I don’t want to go into.” Cruz asks his daughters, clad in matching baby blue dresses and hair ribbons, recite grace—several times, for the cameras.
Around the 3:30 mark, Cruz steals the show. In a lengthy montage of himself and his daughters, he says “I’m Ted Cruz and I approve this message” over and over again, while grimacing at the camera.