Fact Check

Ted Cruz Said 'If Something Happens to Hillary' He'll 'Run as a Democrat Against Trump'

Ted Cruz did not say that he'd run as a Democrat to defeat Donald Trump if Hillary Clinton dropped out of the 2016 presidential race.

Published Sep 15, 2016

Ted Cruz said he'd run as a Democrat against Donald Trump if Hillary Clinton had to drop out of the 2016 presidential race.

During ongoing controversy and speculation about Hillary Clinton's health (following a medical episode at a 9/11 event), the web site Newslo published an article on 13 September 2016 reporting that Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas had pledged to run as a Democrat to defeat Donald Trump if Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton were forced to drop out of the race:

Ted Cruz has left a meeting with Mike Pence without saying whether he will endorse or even vote for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. The Texas Republican senator and onetime rival of Trump’s has refused to endorse the billionaire. Cruz met privately with Pence in Washington and attended a lunch with the Indiana governor and a number of other Republican senators. Cruz says he had a “good and productive conversation” and a “very good meeting.” He calls Pence a “good man, a friend” and a “strong conservative.”

However, according to a source who attended the meeting, Cruz refused to endorse Trump and, instead, threw a bombshell that left most of the Republican attendees speechless: Ted Cruz plans to run against Donald Trump after all. Truth be told, he didn’t vow to do it, he merely suggested the possibility. And according to the source, the only way that would ever be possible is if it turns out the rumors are true and Hillary Clinton is prevented form running against Trump on account of her deteriorating health.

Asked to verify the allegations made by one of the attendees, who requested anonymity, Cruz initially seemed genuinely surprised, but later said, “I figured it would get out sooner or later. Might as well be sooner.” “It’s true,” the Texas Republican senator revealed, “I did make that proposition. And I made it for one simple reason – there is no way I am giving up on stopping Donald Trump from running this great country into the ground. And if I have to switch over to the Democrats to do it, then so be it.”

Like all items published by Newslo (and sister sites Religionlo and Politicalo), the article began with factual introduction before introducing subsequent untruths. On 13 September 2016 Cruz did meet with Trump's running mate Mike Pence, but the portion of the article holding that he pledged to run as a Democrat was wholly embellished.

All articles Newslo's three fake news sites (often appearing on Facebook items from the Politicops domain) included a "show facts" or "hide facts" button. However, all items displayed in "hide facts" mode by default, ensuring new visitors rarely used or were aware the option:

newslo satire

Newslo, Politicalo and Religionlo items typically follow the same template for every article, featuring a paragraph consisting of accurate information and the balance embellishments upon that grain of truth.

Prior Newslo fabrications included claims Chris Christie said a female Viagra would lead to increased "lesbianism" and that he voted down a gender pay parity bill due to religious reasons, an Alabama politician proposed saliva-based "hunger tests" for food stamp recipients, Cruz said the death of Antonin Scalia was oddly timed, Pat Robertson claimed David Bowie was still alive after his death, Mike Pence opined that if abortion was allowed in instances of rape that women would attempt to "get raped" in order to obtain an abortion, and father of Brock Turner lamented the lack of punishment for the victim in his son's case.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.