Operation Gideon: Cruz’s South Carolina salvation

by Jonathan Easley  |  published on February 19, 2016

Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign is betting that an old-time religious revival will deliver him victory in South Carolina’s GOP primary on Saturday.

When Cruz announced Thursday that 300 Christian leaders across the state had endorsed him, it was the culmination of what the campaign has dubbed “Operation Gideon.”

It’s an alliance among a close-knit group of prominent Christians in South Carolina who are leveraging their positions as faith leaders to influence their thousands of followers to join them in supporting the Texas senator for president.

Among Cruz’s most influential supporters in the 300: Bob Jones III, the chancellor of the influential conservative Christian university in the state that shares his name; Ed Lofton, parish priest for an enormous Catholic church in Summerville; and the Revs. Stephen Williamson, Andy Wells and Chad Watson, who together are credited with arranging a Christian rally on the steps of the state capitol last summer that drew at least 10,000.

  • Edgardo L. Perez-De Leon

    Cruz and the evangelical right are politically dead. Republicans have the choices of the secular Trump or the anti-pope Catholic Rubio.

  • Anthony

    I think that South Carolina will prove they are not slow thinking and many people believe they are, and yes they read and hold on to what they have read in the good book, and remember that the devil one time was a good Angel , Cruz already have too many things that he should have reported by law etc. etc. and it did not happen, They will ask themselves, it that what I want to be my president?

  • ehutch

    So do these preachers plan to give up their tax exempt status now that they are involved in politics?

    • Danny

      Just because they have an opinion doesn’t make them involved. There is no money changing hands

      • ehutch

        Tax deductible contributions go into the churches coffers then into the preacher’s pocket. Of course money is changing hands. To engage in political activity an organization does not have to be directly involved with a candidate.

        • Danny

          You are right…they are involved by making suggestions and encouraging others to get involved in the process. I’m not in favor of taking away their tax exempt status but I would like to see the Fed get their hands out of the pockets of America’s people’s pockets and stop supporting illegal immigrants and refugees who are not even assimilated to our country. Sorry forgetting your hair ruffled go Cruz go

          • ehutch

            I just try to keep it in perspective. Of the total $3.0 trillion dollars spent by the federal government, $29 billion is spent for the benefit of illegals according to http://www.fairus.org/publications/the-fiscal-burden-of-illegal-immigration-on-united-states-taxpayers
            That is just under 1%. A median income is about $55,000 on which a taxpayer pays about $5,600 per year. 1% of that would be $56. I just can’t get too upset about so little money.

          • Danny

            I see where you are coming from.1+1=2…I can’t predict where we will be if this doesn’t come under control so I won’t…however our country has incurred a large debt that will probably never be paid off…I can’t see me wanting to or even getting away with not paying my debts…but I guess I have a share in the debt the government has accumulated. I read a few of your other comments and realize I won’t have near the time you must have to fact check the issues that you respond to so I will be keeping a line open to your comments. Thanks for the info hope we can solve some of the problems our country faces when Cruz and Trump get down to business

  • jug

    The Cruz campaign in Iowa was SUCKERED!
    And its been way overblown, fooling a lot of people ever since!
    In the long run, it made absolutely NO difference, both Carson’s and Cruz’s results surpased their polling predictions.

    Trump cost himself there, whst with his massive ego, hardly surpassed even by obutthole, but when he came in second, he again reacted just like obutthole himself! Shove the blame off on someone esle, Cruz to start, and then the Iowa voters, calling them “STUPID”! Trump and bho both have the same personality problems, ego and narcissim!

    Ever since Iowa, SOMEONE, maybe more than one, has been posting BS on the internet in Cruz’s name, and trying to take him down with dirty tricks.

    Its too bad some people are so ill informed that they fall for such trickery!

    • Danny

      Cruz shouldn’t have to defend himself against Donald. This just makes Donald look immature and ill prepared to sit in the position as potus. Maybe he should consider vp and eat some humble pie and learn how a real leader will do it. I like Cruz and Trump yet I believe Cruz is much more interested in getting this country back to the constitution.

      • jug

        Yes, on what you said about Cruz, but Trump as vice prez?
        NOT with his ego!
        Matter of fact, his massive ego, and his temper tantrums completely bar him from any public office in my opinion!

        • Danny

          That’s why he needs to eat some humble pie as vp

          • jug

            You are telling Trump to “eat humble pie”?
            Think again!

          • Danny

            He ate some today…his comments on the pope were considerably more humble today compared to yesterday’s

          • Danny

            Cruz for potus!!!

          • Danny

            Donald ate humble pie again…his comments on not supporting the Iraqi intervention…turns out he did in 2002

          • Danny

            Keep the pie coming…we’ll get this fixed

  • jea2comments

    After what the Cruz campaign did in Iowa; why would the church leaders trust him, let alone endorse him? He and/or his campaign lied about Dr. Ben Carson dropping out of the race. And then when questioned about the issue, Cruz claims he didn’t know about it, REALLY? We’re supposed to believe that? C’mon on Ted. As Trump has said: Ted holds up a bible, and then he lies. Pretty sad, when religion is used in order to promote one’s self to the WH.
    Even Marco Rubio called out Ted for his lying. I hope these pastors and the people of South Carolina don’t get duped by Ted’s lies, like the evangelicals did in Iowa. Cruz is bought-and-paid for Citi Bank and Goldman Sachs. And Cruz’s wife just happens to be the VP of Goldman Sachs. It doesn’t take a rocket-scientist to connect the dots. Cruz is just another smooth-talking, bought-and-paid for politician, that will claim anything to get into office. Trump is the only candidate that is self-funded and beholden to no one. He’s the only one for our Veterans and helped raise 6-million dollars to help the Veterans. Trump has also set-up a hotline for the Veterans concerning health issues and problems with the the VA system, which are numerous. Trump supports Job Creation, which we know he could accomplish. He also supports building a wall, and having Mexico pay for it. Sounds good to me. Trump also supports better trade deals in which the U.S. actually profits for a change. Trump supports our troops and Veterans. Trump wants to restore our “torn-down” military, and build it up and make it stronger than ever. Trump is for America. I believe he’s the genuine article. He’s taking a lot of heat and flak for us, and he didn’t have to. That’s why the LEFT hate him, and some of the entrenched bought-off Republicans, because they know they can’t buy him, and they can’t control him. It’s refreshing to see someone who could actually DO something, rather than just talk about it.
    Trump 2016!!!

    • Seedman

      There is no wrong doing in repeating an accurate CNN news story. Rubio volunteers did the same thing. Don’s outfit likely would have to only Don had few volunteers helping him on the ground. There is wrong doing in Don Juvenile Trump claiming Dr. Ben Carson has an incurable pathological temper compared to child molesting! I will gladly vote for Ted Cruz for president! Ted is the best leader since Ronald Reagan. Don has serious character deficiencies which preclude him from serious consideration.

      • jea2comments

        First of all, it was NOT an accurate news story on CNN, it was Inaccurate. Is that any surprise coming from CNN? Cruz knew about it, and did nothing to stop it. That makes him a deceptive person. If you want just another LIAR, who is also a bought-and-paid for politician, that is your business. I’m tired of “entrenched politicians” who say anything and everything in order to get to the WH as prez. Ted is not the best leader, he is a liar, and he uses religion and the bible to promote himself to others, as a “christian.” He holds up the bible and then he lies! No true christian, would do that. Trump has said a few things that maybe could have been said in a better way; or not said at all; however, Trump is the best candidate for this country, we need an intelligent, and tough leader in order to straighten out this country’s many problems, and we need someone with the business savvy of Trump. He’s no dummy and he’s not bought-and-paid for, like your boy Cruz. We are at a cross-roads in this county, and if we don’t get Trump into office, it’s game over! Either way; just wait, watch and see.

        • Danny

          I for one like Cruz and Trump and believe the two would make a great team to defeat the deadbeats in the Senate and house by showing this country what these two faced liars are really supporting. We could then replace a bunch of them in the next election.

          • jug

            Danny, nice idea, but everyone should be able to see by now, Trump is NOT a team player, unless he is on TOP!

            And that is what he has set as his next goal, and he cares not how he gets there!

            Just as he rationalized his eminent domain victory over the old lady, whose house he bull dozed for his casino parking lot. He said that “she recieved a fair price for her house”!
            But his fair price for a modest home, likely doesnt jive with her idea of “the deal”!

          • Danny

            You are right about”the top” yet he has proven that he can be a team player just look at what he has accomplished in the business world…perhaps not vpotus but definitely somewhere in the next administration…my vote is still in the Cruz camp but I don’t like seeing the top taking each other down when the two of them have so much to offer

          • jea2comments

            Please gimme a break. You’re gonna beat that dead horse again, like Bush did? I’m sure Trump gave her a decent price, he’s NOT a cheapskate. And sometimes eminent domain does take place in order to bring about progress or projects, such as Trump’s casino parking lot. Although eminent domain is mainly used for infrastructure, roads, highways, bridges, buildings, etc.

          • jug

            Trump not a cheapskate?
            Why then did he pay 150 illegals $5 an hour, in cash, under the table to tear down the building previous to the Trump Tower? Supposedly, most of them slept on the site!
            And yes, he got busted for it! The judge had a pretty telling question for him.

          • jea2comments

            Initially, I liked Cruz to, until I found out he is a liar. His ground-campaign in Iowa, spread a lie that Dr. Ben Carson had dropped out of the race. That did effect the outcome of the Iowa caucus, robbing Carson and Trump of votes. Sorry, but that’s just dirty pool in my book. Cruz has also lied on several occasions now, and even Rubio has called him out on it. Cruz holds up a bible and then he lies to We The People, he lied to Iowa, and now he’s lying to South Carolina. He uses christians and their religion in order to try and get his way into the WH. Sorry, but I just can’t support another liar, as we’ve seen that far too many times with obama, the Captain of BS.
            Trump was considering Cruz for VP, but now there is a major rift between the two. Unless the rift is mended, I don’t see the two joining forces anytime soon. I like Trump and his plans for a better America. Lord knows we need that. And Lord willing, I hope and pray Trumps gets into office. We need him.

        • jug

          Jea, you are totally wrong about Cruz!
          Cruz did nothing wrong or otherwise in Iowa!
          It was somebody on his staff, or very possibly Steve King’s staff that pulled the trigger, moving on, with the CNN story.

          Beyond that, there wasnt time to do anything about it, and it made absolutely no difference in the long run. The big problem, was what Trump made out of it!
          Just like obama, he accepts no blame, ever, even after dropping out of that debate!
          Dumb, stupid move on his part, but HIS choice!
          But no, he blames both Cruz AND the Iowa voters!

          • jea2comments

            But the end result is the same; as the damage to the Carson and Trump campaign had already been done. It was Cruz’s responsibility to know what was happening in his own ground-campaign in Iowa. I highly doubt that Cruz didn’t know, about what was happening; as those Team Captains aren’t supposed to do anything without Cruz’s approval. Cruz has been called out for lying on numerous occasions, not only by Trump, but also by Rubio. Dr. Ben Carson, who I greatly admire, also called out Cruz, and his campaign for spreading a “lie” about him. Carson said that Cruz apologized, but by that time, the damage had already been done. So, what you are saying is: Cruz is NOT lying, but that Trump, Carson and Rubio are? ooohkay. You can believe what you want, I personally don’t believe Cruz anymore, and he lost a lot of votes in New Hampshire because of his deception, and the American people have had it with lying politicians. Cruz holds up a bible and then he lies. Wow, REALLY, that is the lowest of the low. And by-the-way, Cruz was also born in Canada, and is actually INELIGIBLE to run for POTUS. I guess Cruz figures; If obama can do it; so can I. It’s totally illegal, for him to be running. Do you think the Democrats won’t call him out on it? Think again. They will be all over this like rabid dogs IF he wins the nomination.
            By the way, why should Trump have gone to a debate sponsored by Fox, who purposely chose Megyn Kelly, over him? All that Megyn Kelly wanted to do was verbally ATTACK him on stage, like a rabid dog. She is a joke of a journalist, and Fox is rather stupid for picking her over a presidential candidate. By-the-way Fox, was begging Trump to come back to the debate, after they received a barage of angry emails from the public. Shame on Fox! They lost ratings, although they would never admit it. Most people that support Trump, did not watch the debate, they watched Trump in Iowa, on CNN where he raised 6-million dollars for our Veterans. Trump backs his talk, with ACTIONS, something that most politicians never do. Staunch Trump supporters will not be swayed, whether Trump attends the debates or not. Also, although Trump was robbed in Iowa, due to the Cruz/ground campaign’s lies. He was gracious about it, and he didn’t blame anyone at that time; however he did call out Cruz, which he had the perfect right to do so. Dr. Carson also called out Cruz, in which he too; had the perfect to do so. A liar is a liar, and that is what Cruz is. America is tired of LIARS, as that is all we have running this country, and we’ve had enough of o’blowhole, the Captain of BS!

          • jug

            Get real!
            It was only hours at the most, hence why no change in number of votes.
            As for Cruz “knowing”, he didnt, until like obutthole, he actually found out after it was publicized!

          • jea2comments

            Initially Trump was ahead in the Iowa polls. And hours can make a difference! How can you be so sure that Cruz didn’t know about the ground-campaign? Also, there are a lot of Robo calls going on EVEN now, in South Carolina, despite what happened in Iowa. Robo calls are still being USED in order to divert votes away from Trump and other candidates. How do you explain that one? Sorry, I just can’t support a deceptive person like Cruz any longer. Cruz is also a bought-and-paid for politician by Citi Bank and Goldman Sachs, in which he has got two “big money” loans at 0% interest in order to run his campaign. Those are NOT loans, they are “political contributions” and should be claimed as such. Cruz’s wife also just happens to be the VP of Goldman Sachs. Are you connecting the dots yet?… I got to hand it to Cruz, he’s a good actor though. He also holds up a bible and then he proceeds to lie. A real christian wouldn’t do that, and he wouldn’t use the bible in order to fool others and propel his way into the WH. That’s pretty despicable. I don’t like liars, and we’ve seen far too much of that with obama. We need someone who is transparent, tough, and smart, and who has a plan for America, and who is NOT funded by special-interests and lobbyists (and banks) like Cruz is. Donald Trump fits the bill for a great president. Love him or hate him, he’s smart, business savvy, and he won’t take any crap from anyone. He will make a great President.

          • jug

            Connect the dots??????
            What Trump polled, or his votes, had absolutely nothing to do with what I posted, or was even being discussed!

            It was about Carson and Cruz, poll vs votes! They were well within what was expected for each.
            No wonder you fell for Trump’s spiel!

            As well as being totally wrong about Cruz!

            What planet did you say you came from?

          • jea2comments

            The problem with you is, you’re not getting my point. When Cruz CHEATED, and he did cheat… he affected votes that would have gone to either Trump or Carson, get it?!!! As far as your feeble excuse, about votes being in the “expected” range. How in the hell would you know? And by-the-way, I’m not wrong about Cruz, you’re just uninformed and have fell for his line of BS. WAKE UP dummy! I live on planet earth, and am AWAKE, which is far more than I can say for you. What rock have you been living under? And for you to fall for Cruz’s BS and lies, shows just how naive you really are. Cruz would have made a great snake oil salesman. You’ll see when he loses yet again tonight in SC.

          • jug

            You dont have a point, you are totally wrong about both Trump and Cruz.
            You done ate the same crap the obutthole voters ate!

            But we will see, if it comes to pass the Trump becomes president, wont we?

            Get ready for crow.

        • Seedman

          You are casting an inaccurate portrait of Ted Cruz. Don Juvenile on the other hand told voters that Dr. Ben Carson has an incurable pathological temper; comparable to a child molester. Instead of just waiting, watching, and seeing; I will be actively involved and enthusiastically voting for Ted Cruz for president.

          • jea2comments

            No, I am not casting an inaccurate picture of Cruz. Facts are facts. Also, even NOW, in South Carolina Robo calls are STILL being used to discredit other candidates by the Cruz campaign. How do you explain that one? Americans are tired of being lied to, and deceived. We’ve had our fill from “entrenched” bought-off politicians, of which Cruz is. He’s been bought by Citi Bank and Goldman Sachs, didn’t you know? That means THEY CONTROL him. By the way, Cruz’s wife just happens to be the VP of Goldman Sachs. Are you connecting the dots yet?… Go ahead and work for a dishonest candidate,
            which Cruz is.
            I’ll be working to actively promote Trump, and do, he’s an honest candidate, who is transparent, who helps Vets, (he raised 6 million dollars in Iowa for our Veterans) while the others were at the debate, duking it out. Trump also IS self-funding his own campaign, that means he’s NOT BEHOLDEN to anyone! Trump also wants to build up our military, which has been decimated to WW2 levels, and wants to create jobs, (currently we are at 35-42% Unemployment)! Wrap your mind around that one! Trump also wants our borders secured, and a Wall, built at the border(s), in order to keep the trash out, and Mexico IS gonna pay for it. Sounds great to me! We also have a very bad drug problem in this country, of which the “open borders” are not helping, open borders also have brought the dregs of the world to our country, illegals, muslims, etc. Trump also wants to repeal and replace obama-care, with affordable health care for everyone and NOT a single-payer system (no govt. intrusion), like obama-care. Trump also is for Free-Trade, not the CRAP trade like TPA/TPP which is a complete disaster. Trump is for getting rid of that disastrous nuclear American/Iran nuke deal, which is genocide for this country.
            Trump also wants to get rid of Isis, who is a real threat to this country. Trump also wants to get our 22 Trillion debt under control. Somehow! IF anyone can do it; it will be Trump. Trump talks, but he also is a man of good ACTIONS; something we have not seen in a very long time.

          • Seedman

            Don Juvenile; the voice of a god, and not of a man! Kidding. Ted Cruz has proven to be a man not only of words, but deeds which substantiate them; that equates to Ted Cruz having my support and vote for president!

      • Danny

        I will also cast my vote for Cruz yet I believe trump has a good deal to offer this country…watch how he has brought many issues to the forefront that need to be worked out…Donald could be useful if he would not be so immature in his approach to things political…I think we are seeing some amazing changes in just the last couple of days

  • Walter Flatt

    CRUZ IS BOUGHT AND PAID FOR BY BIG MONEY PACS. HE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO MOVE WITHOUT THEM TELLING HIM WHAT TO DO. HE IS NOT QUALIFIED TO BE PRESIDENT.

    • Seedman

      I will gladly vote for Ted Cruz as president. Ted is the best leader since Ronald Reagan!

    • jea2comments

      Exactly!

  • Walter Flatt

    I BLAME ALL CHURCHES,LODGES, MASONIC,KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS, ETC AND ALL TAX EXAMPTION ENTIES FOR THE SHAPE THIS COUNTRY IS IN. AFRAID TO OPEN THEIR MOUTH ABOUT THE PROBLEMS OUR COUNTRY IS FACING, THEY ARE AFRAID OF LOSING THEIR TAX EXAMPTION. THERE ARE ONE OR TWO ECCEPTIONS.

    TAXES THAT HAVE BEEN RAISED WITH OBAMA CARE AND I BLAME THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FOR LETTING THIS HAPPEN. LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU BECAUSE OF WE THE PEOPLE HAVE ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN. THIS IS JUST THE TIP OF THE ICE BERG OF THE DAMAGE THEY HAVE DONE.

    MEDICARE————————-1.45% TO 2.35%
    TOP INCOME TAX——————-35% TO 77.4%
    TOP INCOMPE PAYROLL————–37.4% TO 52.2%
    CAPITAL GAIN ——————–15% TO 28%
    DIVIDEN TAX———————-15% TO 39%
    ESTATE TAX———————–0 TO 55%
    PLUS ESTATE TRANSTATCION TAX–OF-3.5%

    IT IS TIME WE ALL PULLED TOGETHER AND ELECT A PERSON TO GET OUR COUNTRY STRAIGHT AND THAT PERSON IS DONALD TRUMP, HE IS THE ONLY QUALIFIED PERSON RUNNING WITH THE EXPERIENCE TO RUN THE LARGEST BUSINESS ON EARTH, THE US GOVERNMENT AND IF YOU REALLY WANT TO HELP THIS COUNTRY YOU WILL GET BEHIND HIM AND MAKE HIM THE NEXT PRESIDENT. HE IS A STAND UP, NOT OBLAGEDED TO ANYONE, EVEN THE PRESS. WE THE PEOPLE DO NOT WANT ANOTHER INEXPERIENCED SENATOR AS PRESIDENT.

    • Mike N

      You absolutely have to be kidding. Cruz is the one that has tried to change things. He has made enemies for not going along with the crowd. Trump is a narcissist who will do or say anything that makes him look good. Look at his past. I know Trump supporters will not change, but he is not what he seems.

      In 1999 Trump was pro choice. In his 2000 book Trump said that he favored an assault weapon ban and a longer waiting period to purchase firearms. In 1999 he said that he believed in universal healthcare. He donated to Hillary as late as 2007. He has changed political affiliations several times. He was a Democrat as late as 2009. In 2010, Trump gave more than $100,000 to Democrats to defeat Republicans who wanted to roll back Obamacare. In 2014, as conservatives battled incumbent Republicans, Trump funded the Republican establishment to help them stop the conservatives. In Kentucky, for example, Trump funded Mitch McConnell against conservative Matt Bevin.

      http://trumpthemovie.com/watch/

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcUCLwWCihE&app=desktop

      • jug

        Mike, you are exactly right here!
        All the others apparently either have been fooled by the party or more likely parties that are using false posting, trying to take Cruz down!

        The other might be, bought and paid shills, trying to do the same thing.

        Cruz is the real deal here, doing his level best to protect the Constitution, and serve the voters of this country.

        The rest are in it for themselves, and Trumps particular reason is to satisfiy his EGO!

    • jea2comments

      Trump is the only candidate that can pull this country together, with the mighty help of the Lord, first and foremost. If you knew how many taxes that are out there, you’d be floored. About 8 years ago, I wondered about this very same topic and how many taxes there actually were, and up to that point; so I asked a tax person about it, I was told 8 years ago, that there were 144 different types of taxes that existed! It’s not the churches fault, it’s the fault of a very-greedy and corrupt government system and their greed never ends. I wonder what the current number of taxes now is? Probably well over 200 and counting. The only candidate that can even begin to dent the problems we are having in the U.S. is Trump. If he doesn’t get in. We are toast.

  • Nana

    I really can’t stand to listen to him talk very long due to his nasal voice and the way he speaks to people like they are all around 5 years old or just ignorant.Well let me tell you or well you know… reminds me of a snake oil salesman

    • Citizentobe

      And unfortunately most liberals are ignorant!

      • obama

        Ignorance is a “new” Republican/Tea Party trait. They have it pretty much wrapped up.

        • Citizentobe

          Obama….Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha…..A very appropriate name for another ignorant!

  • Nana

    I don’t care who he has backing him, I think he’s another Obama talking out both sides of his mouth.

    • Danny

      I’m sure you are referring to Donald

  • Joan Davenport

    I really have a hard time trusting Cruz….he just looks so smarmy and sneaky.

    • Nick

      He reminds me of Nixon. We all know the disaster Nixon lead us down by taking us off the gold system and all the other devilish things he did.

      • Danny

        You must be referring to Donald

        • Nick

          No, it’s Cruz.

    • Danny

      Listen to the words and watch what they do. Cruz sticks to his principles

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