I don’t know if this is a thing or not. I mean, it seems a little excessive to accuse Sen. Ted Cruz of having had five affairs. At first, I thought it was just confined to the National Enquirer making some salacious and unsubstantiated allegations, although they’ve broken real stories before. Then I saw that the whole thing had spilled over to CNN and was being openly discussed on the air by partisans of the Trump and Cruz campaigns. What was really noteworthy was that the Trump partisan accused the Cruz partisan of being one of Tailgunner Ted’s paramours.

Kate Bolduan, co-anchor of “At This Hour,” hosted a discussion between Amanda Carpenter, the former communications director for Sen. Ted Cruz, and Adriana Cohen, a Boston Herald columnist and Trump supporter.

Bolduan asked Cohen if she thought the two Republican presidential candidates should drop their increasingly personal and ugly feud over one another’s wives — when the conservative columnist redirected the conversation toward rumors of Cruz’s infidelity.

“Absolutely, I think we should move on,” Cohen said, “and where we should move to is the National Enquirer story that has reported that Ted Cruz has allegedly had affairs with at least five mistresses — including, you’ve been named, Amanda.”

Carpenter’s raised her eyebrows in shock, as Bolduan interrupted.

“I’m sorry, I don’t think that’s moving on at all, Adriana,” she said, as Carpenter uttered a single sarcastic laugh.

Cohen said the Texas senator should issue a statement either denying the rumors or admitting they were true, and she again pointed out that Carpenter has been identified in the unconfirmed reports.

“You were named, Amanda,” Cohen said. “Will you denounce this story or will you confront it?”

Amanda Carpenter did deny the rumor and referred people to her lawyer.

Just when you think the Republican primaries can’t get any more disgraceful and brutal, we get this. For all I know, there is absolutely nothing to these rumors. But, if that’s the case, the story is how the Trump campaign is taking this smear campaign to eleven. Consider what Gabriel Sherman reported back in October when the Enquirer was accusing Ben Carson of brandishing his surgical scalpel “like a meat cleaver!”

Trump and Enquirer CEO David Pecker have been friends for years. “They’re very close,” said a source close to the Enquirer. In July 2013, Trump even tweeted that Pecker should become CEO of Time magazine, which at the time was being spun off from its corporate parent, Time Warner. “He’d make it exciting and win awards!”

It does reek of Roger Stone, don’t you think?

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at ProgressPond.com