Michael Del Rosso Campaign Surrogate Threatens Reporter
The Fifth District Congressional race has sunk to a new low: threats and intimidation by unhinged Internet tough guys.
Yesterday, it was reported that Ken Cuccinelli, acting as a spokesman for Ted Cruz’s campaign, disavowed certain false statements made by Fifth District Congressional candidate Michael Del Rosso, in which he claimed to have served as a “national security adviser” to Senator Ted Cruz.
Cuccinelli’s disavowal was made in a written statement emailed to Bearing Drift, which read:
“I have had the opportunity to speak with all of the individuals responsible for working with Senator Cruz to develop his policy positions, including in the areas of foreign policy and national security. They in turn inquired of Senator Cruz’s Senate office as well.”
“The result of the aforementioned inquiry is that it has been absolutely confirmed that Michael del Rosso has never served as an advisor in any capacity to Senator Cruz in either his presidential campaign or in his Senate office. Any statement to the contrary would be false.”
In a desperate and last-minute attempt to shield Del Rosso from the consequences of his false statements, a surrogate for his campaign chose to attack this author, insinuating in a caustic Facebook post to the Fifth District GOP Group that Cuccinelli’s statement must have been forged.
“Rollin must be furiously drafting it right now, hope he is not having to learn photoshop from scratch,” wrote Del Rosso surrogate Don Woodsmall, in the posting, which has been preserved and embedded below.
Woodsmall’s unhinged accusations are wholly false and without merit. Ken Cuccinelli himself has confirmed the contents of the statement published by Bearing Drift on his official Facebook page.
On Woodsmall’s post, Chris Shores, the former Virginia state director for Cruz’s campaign, confirmed Bearing Drift’s reporting as accurate.
“As the former VA State Director of the Ted Cruz for President Campaign I can confirm what Rollin Reisinger wrote to be true,” said Shores, another Cruz campaign insider. “Our policy team confirmed this some time ago with both Ken and myself.”
Not content with a second source of confirmation, Woodsmall continued his uncivil meltdown in another post hours after the original, writing:
“I then looked carefully at the language you attributed to Cuccinelli and it quickly became obvious to me (a sixty-one year old, lawyer) that Mr. Cuccinelli didn’t write those words that you quoted. No forty-seven year old lawyer who is as smart as Ken Cuccinelli uses the type of language you inserted, but a twenty-eight year old millennial sure would.”
Woodsmall’s accusations could not be further from the truth. The statement came from Ken Cuccinelli and was reported accurately.
In his rant, Woodsmall complains that no link was provided to Cuccinelli’s statement in the original post – however, no external link exists, because the statement was provided to Bearing Drift by email, not posted on another website.
Woodsmall first reached out at 3:47 PM by telephone with a rude and absurd demand to send him a copy of the statement which had already been published on the original post. Not an hour later, he chose to poison the well by making accusations of forgery and fraud in the aforementioned post, and through his uncivil and angry behavior, destroy any attempt at reasonable discussion.
So no, this author will not be returning the call of a man who came unhinged on the Internet before his voicemail was even received
Not content with false accusations, Woodsmall graduated to intimidation and threats, writing in a follow-up post:
“If you show up at the Convention tomorrow and hand out anything that contains more lies, I will be on you like white on rice…. or maybe I will just send one of the Admirals, Generals, or Special Forces guys supporting Michael at the Convention, of which there will be many, over to have a talk with you, you little lying weasel.”
Will Michael Del Rosso denounce his surrogate’s attempt to intimidate a writer with threats of physical violence?
In a last-minute email to delegates, Del Rosso attempted to spin his way out of the situation, writing:
“After all else has failed, they are saying I was an adviser to Ted Cruz when I actually said, ‘I’ve advised all three [Carson, Cruz, and Trump] of those campaigns on national security.'”
“‘Campaigns’, not candidates. This is a crucial difference and is a typical twisting of words by those desperate to win at all costs. Despicable.”
Del Rosso’s words were never twisted. He claimed to have served in an advisory role to the Cruz campaign – a claim covered by Cuccinelli’s statement, which Bearing Drift reported accurately.
“The result of the aforementioned inquiry is that it has been absolutely confirmed that Michael del Rosso has never served as an advisor in any capacity to Senator Cruz in either his presidential campaign or in his Senate office,” wrote Cuccinelli. “Any statement to the contrary would be false.” [emphasis ours]
In his email, Del Rosso attempted to walk back the scope of his involvement with the Cruz campaign, explaining that, although he was not an official adviser, various policy-related writings of his were read by people who did serve as official advisers to the campaign.
That’s not the impression he and his surrogates attempted to convey with his statements on the campaign trail. Reasonable voters would interpret his words as conveying official status – which he never possessed.
By his own twisted standard, he would also become an adviser to the Clinton campaign if her foreign policy team read the policy papers he authored or co-authored.
The claim was knowingly embellished. Consequently, Cuccinelli called this one for what it is: false.
Fortunately, by this time tomorrow, this ugly race will be over, and Republicans may begin coming together for the important task of winning in November’s elections, no thanks to the thugs.