Social Media Is an Apology Platform for Politicians

Senator Ted Cruz shows us how it works.

You’ve almost certainly seen multiple headlines about Senator and Presidential candidate Ted Cruz this morning.

In summary, Cruz mocked Vice President Joe Biden at an event in the Detroit area by trotting out an old chestnut. Here’s the joke, via reporter Chad Livengood:

After the event, Livengood asked Cruz to comment on the recent death of Biden’s son Beau, whose funeral will be held this Saturday. He said that his heart was with the VP and his wife Jill, but when the reporter pressed Cruz on why he decided to tell that particular joke at that particular time, he had nothing but a smirk:

The Senator and/or his PR team then issued an apology on Facebook and Twitter; neither Cruz nor his comms director Amanda Carpenter has addressed the story in person.

Here’s the post:

ted cruz

The response to his response has been decidedly mixed.

From Leslie Minton, PR pro at the University of North Texas:

Frank Washkuch of PR Week was less impressed:

…as was Democratic party comms rep Joshua Pugh:

Comms veteran Susan Nagy feels like Cruz should have let it go:

Even some tweeters who identify themselves as Cruz supporters were upset:

Given the amount of coverage the joke inspired, we feel that Cruz will have no choice but to follow up on the follow up.

But you know he and his team wish they could wave away a mini-scandal with two sentences on Facebook.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.