Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) released a short, edited, clip of a question-and-answer session held by his Senate seat challenger Beto O’Rourke on Tuesday, where it makes it seem like the Democrat says he is “grateful” for people burning the American flag.
However, as the Dallas Morning News points out, the clip takes O’Rourke’s comments out of context.
The clip, which was posted on Cruz’s Facebook, was captioned:
“WATCH: ‘Congressman O’Rourke not only called burning the U.S. flag ‘inherently American’ but also said he was ‘grateful’ for those willing to commit such an act,’ said Cruz campaign spokesperson Catherine Frazier.
‘His position is an appalling display of disregard to those who have put their lives on the line to preserve the very freedoms the American flag represents. Texans certainly do not share such views which have no place in the Lone Star State.”
The newspaper reports that the video cuts out after a person asks a question about O’Rourke’s viral response to NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to call attention to police brutality. The audience member also asks about Texas v. Johnson, a Supreme Court case that ruled that flag burning was “symbolic speech” protected under the First Amendment.
Cruz’s video says O’Rourke’s “answer” to the question was: “I think that there is something inherently American about that. And so … I’m grateful there are people willing to do that.”
However, O’Rourke said much more than that.
In fact, as the Dallas Morning News reports, Cruz’s ad shows only 24 words of 615 the Democratic challenger gave in response to the person’s question.
In the full answer, O’Rourke touches on people defending their rights under the Constitution and standing up for civil rights.
Cruz’s spokesperson told the newspaper they did not take O’Rourke’s comments out of context.
This is just the latest in a number of attack ads the Cruz campaign and Texas Republican party have levied against O’Rourke in recent weeks, as some polls show the race to represent Texas in the Senate getting increasingly close.
On Monday, Cruz tweeted a montage of O’Rourke saying “fuck” at various public events, arguing that voters shouldn’t bring children to his speeches and rallies.
You can read the Dallas Morning News report here.