During last week's Republican debate, Ted Cruz attacked fellow Republican contender Donald Trump for his apparent "New York values." When questioned about what "New York Values" could possibly mean, Cruz defined these values as "socially liberal or pro-abortion or pro-gay marriage, [and a] focus around money and the media."
Many, including Saturday Night Live, took this to be a sly attack on the Jews. And it turns out this not-too-carefully coded language might have originated from Cruz's campaign manager Jeff Roe, who used the same line of attack while running a Congressional campaign in 2008, in a political ad that was widely interpreted as homophobic and racist.
Jeff Roe is, by some accounts, a "ruthless tactician," and has been referred to as Ted Cruz's Karl Rove. In 2008, while running the campaign for Missouri Congressman Sam Graves, he created an attack ad against Graves' opponent, Democrat and former Kansas City mayor Kay Barnes, who had recently attended a fundraiser hosted by Nancy Pelosi.
In it Barnes is accused of promoting "their values, not ours." The San Francisco Values ad was “blasted as homophobic and borderline racist," per the New Republic. Take a look:
The Washington Post tracked down Roe in 2008 to talk about the ad, which features a black man dancing with two women to a campy soundtrack. At the time, Roe described it as a "water cooler ad."
The ad worked: Graves easily kept his seat in the House for another term.
David Matthews operates the Wayback Machine on Fusion.net—hop on. Got a tip? Email him: email@example.com