Did Ted Cruz call woman a “whore” who had an abortion?

cruz-princeton

Maybe, but sloppy reporting by Jezebel (I know, that’s redundant) doesn’t help confirm or deny whether Ted Cruz really said it.

Earlier this month, Ellie Shechet of Jezebel wrote a piece based on her search to confirm what she called a “disgusting” rumor of a sexual nature about Ted Cruz when he was a student at Princeton.

After her disappointment in not being able to confirm it, she wrote a process piece that basically involved getting his college classmates to dish dirt on him at will, with little other corroboration.

Shechet apparently didn’t talk to Cruz’s freshman roommate Craig Mazin, who has been talking to anyone who will listen about his distaste for Cruz, although she did report on what he had said to others and on Twitter. She notes that she recounted the “absurd” sexual rumor to numerous classmates.

To alter a James Carville expression – when you drag a potential hit piece about a conservative politician through an Ivy League alumni population, you never know what you’ll find.

Burying the Lede

Of course, in re-telling all the dirt dished by Cruz’s former classmates, Shechet managed to bury what could be the most damaging item far down in the story, which probably explains why it hasn’t gotten much attention before.

Here’s the item in question (emphasis added):

“There are not that many people in my life who I can think of who I didn’t actually have extensive interactions with who bring up such bad feelings,” said Mikaela Beardsley, who lived in the same residential college as Cruz during their freshman year at Princeton, in 1988.

Beardsley says that she and Cruz, who lived next door to her close friend, would occasionally get into political arguments when she came by. “I’m a classic blue state anti-death penalty pro-choice liberal—I represent everything wrong with America, as far as Ted Cruz is concerned,” she said during a phone conversation, laughing. “We would just yell at each other.”

“And when he became Senator, I was like, ‘Oh my God, he called my mother a whore!’”

He did? According to Beardsley, the two were having an “intellectual debate” about abortion one day, when she disclosed that her mother had once ended a pregnancy. “I remember telling him [that] my mother had two children, they really couldn’t afford to have another child, they really would have struggled. And it was a very difficult, painful decision for my mother.” At that point, she said, “he became vicious and made it personal,” eventually telling her, in his loving way, “that my mother was going to hell and was a whore.”

“He made me cry, he was really awful,” she added. (Two other students who lived in Butler at the time recalled Beardsley and Cruz getting into an argument over abortion that resulted in tears.) “It was one of the worst things that anyone’s ever said to me.”

(Cruz’s campaign has not responded to an email asking for comment on Beardsley’s allegation, or to multiple requests for comment on our story.)

This could be a bit more relevant, even from that long ago, than some sexual rumor that didn’t even rise to Jezebel’s standards to be able to report on. The lack of response by the Cruz campaign isn’t a surprise and doesn’t indicate whether the story is true or false on its own.

If true, it’s disgusting and I hope that Cruz had a change of heart since then and apologized to Beardsley. People often say things when they are that age that they end up regretting later.

The only place you generally see that kind of talk these days is in anonymous comments on the fringes of the pro-life movement (along with some fringe groups themselves.)

Thankfully people like the Silent No More Awareness Campaign have done yeoman’s work in pointing out that the woman is often suffers from an abortion and should be treated as a victim of the abortion industry just like the unborn child.

Speaking theologically, there’s no sin too large to be forgiven by God. Even people who have abortions and the abortionists who perform them (former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson has done great work in this area as well) are created by God in his image and have a path to salvation.

If the Jezebel report is false, then shame on them for not doing further investigation.

Jeff Quinton

Jeff Quinton

Jeff Quinton is an award-winning blogger who has been aggregating and blogging since 1998. He has worked as a reporter, in government, and as a communications professional in Columbia, SC and Washington, DC.

Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.

Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.
Jeff Quinton

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