NYT Refuses To Publish Pushback Letter From Cruz’s Debate Partner

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
Font Size:

Rob Marks, the liberal who served as Sen. Ted Cruz’s college debate partner, is alleging that a recent New York Times article “greatly mischaracterizes” Mr. Cruz’s career as a Princeton debater, and “ignores the context of some of these debates.”

The Times has posted at least four articles on the subject, but has declined to publish Marks’ letter to the editor, now obtained by The Daily Caller.

The original report included an anecdote wherein Cruz attempted to be humorous by suggesting that God should “give women a hymen that grows back every time she has intercourse with a different guy, because that will be a ‘visible sign’ of the breach of trust.”

Cruz’s spokesman responded in the Times story, saying that “25-year-old alleged college campus recollection stories, based on anonymous hearsay and reported as ‘fact,’ shouldn’t be taken [seriously] at all. This is ridiculous.”

So while it’s unclear if those remarks were ever uttered, Cruz’s debate partner insisted to the Times that the pair “often took serious topics and reduced them to sound bites, resulting in numerous exchanges of rhetorical hyperbole.”

In his rejection, Times’ letters editor Thomas Feyer emailed that the paper would not publish the letter because “Mr. Marks […] was already quoted in the story, and so his views are on the record.”

Read the letter:

To the Editor:

As a fellow debater for Princeton with Senator Cruz, and even a source quoted in the article, I can say that the piece greatly mischaracterizes him and ignores the context of some of these debates.

Ted had lots of friends on the debate circuit. These friends were conservative and liberal, male and female. I headed the liberal branch of the Princeton debate team when Ted headed the conservative branch, and we remain friends to this day.

In many debates, we took often took serious topics and reduced them to sound bites, resulting in numerous exchanges of rhetorical hyperbole. For example, there were several times in debate I called Ted a “fascist”, and he called me a “communist”. Ted and I knew – as did the audience – that neither Ted was a fascist nor I was a communist. It was style not substance. Unfortunately, this context is left out of the article, leading readers to believe that several outlandish statements were actually his personal opinion.

While it is true not everyone on the debate circuit liked him, he was respected by them. And that seems like a good trait for someone running for president.

Rob Marks, Esq.

Note: Matt Lewis’ wife formerly consulted for Ted Cruz’s Senate campaign, and currently consults for Rick PAC.