For a potential would-be Republican primary voter, the image was something out of the apocalypse: Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), one the GOP’s surviving presidential candidates, shaking hands with President Obama.
“The Rubio-Obama Trade Pact,” www.therealrubiorecord.com — paid for by Cruz for President — read. “Rubio cast the deciding vote to fast-track three highly secretive trade deals negotiated by Obama and encouraging corrupt, backroom deals.”
Ouch. Except, according to the Rubio campaign and anyone familiar with stock art and Photoshop, the handshake looks totally fake. And, while Rubio and Obama have shaken hands, it seems unlikely they shook hands in exactly that awkward fashion with those strange facial expressions while floating in space above the Capitol grounds.
“This is not Marco Rubio,” Rubio senior adviser Todd Harris told reporters Thursday, as Time reported. “This person, we don’t know who that is, but they Photoshopped Marco’s face onto somebody else. This is how phony and how deceitful the Cruz campaign has become.”
Under fire from Rubio’s camp, the Cruz campaign fired back — without denying the allegation.
“Of course Marco Rubio is throwing a fit because he’s ashamed of his liberal record of standing with Chuck Schumer and Barack Obama to try to pass amnesty,” said Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler. “And let’s not let Rubio’s dirty campaign tactics get a free pass here — Rubio is having his supporters crash opponent events and tape literature inside women’s bathroom stalls, and his campaign is running intentionally misleading statewide robocalls. Again, Rubio will do anything to distract away from his liberal record.”
It should be noted that the photo in question was soon removed from therealrubiorecord, replaced by this one that documented a Rubio-Obama handshake before the 2015 State of the Union.
Some also claimed to have unearthed the stock image from which the faux Rubio-Obama handshake was fabricated.
A silly controversy over an altered image in primary season? It was time for a meme. Hashtag: #CruzPhotoshop.
Obama and Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) circa Hurricane Sandy:
Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining,” starring Cruz and Donald Trump: