Boston’s O’Connell featured in pro-Cruz robo-call
By Evan Lips | February 22, 2016, 11:04 EDT
A desperate series of last-minute pro-Ted Cruz robocalls ripping GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump over the real estate mogul’s perceived support for advancing lesbian, gay and transgender rights lit up phones ahead of South Carolina’s Republican primary — the strategy, however, fell flat as Trump claimed the Palmetto State in Saturday’s landslide victory.
The calls, paid for by the Courageous Conservatives superPAC, featured a recording of an interview Trump gave to New England Cable News Broadside host Sue O’Connell. In the interview, O’Connell asked Trump if he would advocate for LGBT rights should he win the presidency.
“I’m a lesbian,” O’Connell says. “We’ve had some great progress for the gay and lesbian community through politics, through all sorts of judicial actions and elected actions over the past 20 years. When President Trump is in office, can we look for more forward motion for equality for gays and lesbians?”
Trump responds by telling O’Connell, “Well, you can. And look, that’s your thing, and other people have their thing. We have to bring all people together.”
The next voice listeners hear comes from a narrator who promptly interjects, “Stop — what does she mean by ‘forward motion’? What’s he agreeing to?”
“It’s not about tolerance anymore,” the narrator continues. “It’s about mandatory celebration. It’s about forcing people to bake cakes and photograph gay weddings. Forcing clergy to officiate. It’s about transgender bathrooms in your child’s school. It’s about tearing down our Judeo-Christian values. It’s about tearing down our America.”
The recording ends with an ultimatum:
“Ted Cruz for president — now, before it’s too late.”
According to the group’s website, the Courageous Conservatives superPAC describes itself as “committed to the election of Ted Cruz as President and like-minded conservatives to House and Senate races across the country.”
The group was also behind another series of robocalls launched earlier last week attacking Trump’s support for removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina state house.
The superPAC’s strategy to sway the evangelical vote to go Cruz’s way was not lost on Trump:
Lying #Ted Cruz just (on election day) came out with a sneak and sleazy Robocall. He holds up the Bible but in fact is a true lowlife pol!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2016
Following his big win Saturday, Trump took to Twitter again to mock Cruz’s apparent failure to secure South Carolina’s evangelical support:
The reason that Ted Cruz lost the Evangelicals in S.C. is because he is a world class LIAR, and Evangelicals do not like liars! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2016
Trump on Saturday secured 32.5 percent of the South Carolina primary vote and all 50 delegates. According to the state’s primary system, the winner of the GOP popular vote is automatically awarded 29 delegates. The remaining 21 delegates are evenly distributed among the state’s seven Congressional districts.
Trump finished first in all seven districts.