The operative I was discussing this with called it a "draw play."
A Gawker story suggests that there may indeed be a draw play in action. Gawker is suggesting there might be a video:
This week, the National Enquirer published a story claiming Ted Cruz may have been involved in as many as five extramarital affairs. But the general allegations are nothing new. People have been talking publicly about, well,something involving Cruz for weeks.The conjecture so far has been just that—speculation in the absence of receipts. Still, people have repeatedly pointed to Katrina Pierson, a former Cruz aide and one of the women whose blurred-out photo appeared in the National Enquirer story.On Twitter, conservatives have been discussing the scandal, in vague (and sometimes less-vague) terms since March, using the hashtag #thething, which seems to have originated, or at least gained popularity, around March 11, with the Stop Trump Super PAC twitter account and GOP strategist Rick Wilson. (Given that many tweets on the subject have since been deleted, it’s difficult to track down the actual origin of the term.)Those tweets, at least initially, suggested the existence of some sort of video.
Gawker then posts a number of tweets, including this one:
Dear media outlets in possession of The Thing; I know you're scared about legal. Have an intern post it on YouTube and then "discover" it.— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 11, 2016
Pierson, for her part, weighed in on being involved in “The Thing” earlier this month, writing that “political hacks...couldn’t even come up w/a plausible scandal, the absurdity is obvious.”
Today, she denied the allegations made by the National Enquirer, saying: “Of course the National Enquirer story is 100% FALSE!!!” She also said: “I only speak for myself, however.”
Daily Beast reports:
Breitbart News, the notoriously Trump-friendly conservative outlet, was also pitched the story of Cruz’s extramarital affairs, according to a source close to the publication. That source said an operative allied with Marco Rubio—but not associated with his official campaign—showed the publication a compilation video of Cruz and a woman other than his wife coming out of the Capitol Grille restaurant and a hotel on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But the outlet opted not to report on the video, which demonstrated no direct evidence of an affair.
“We got it from a Rubio ally,” said the source. “It was too thin, so [Breitbart’s Washington political editor Matt Boyle] decided not to run it. There was no way to verify the claims.”