Bible at the center of Cruz-Rubio controversy

by Gregory Tomlin, |
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio. | REUTERS/Jim Young

NEW YORK (Christian Examiner) – A new controversy has erupted between the presidential campaigns of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and the Bible is at the center of the controversy.

Late last week, a video taken by a student was published to You Tube showing Rubio walking past Cruz's father, Rafael, and a campaign staffer who were seated in a hotel lobby. Rubio, according to the transcript provided over the muddled audio, said Rubio pointed out the Bible and described it as a "good book."

Then, according to the transcript, Rubio said, "Not many answers in it."

The video was shared by the Cruz campaign but the posting prompted an immediate response from the Rubio campaign. Alex Conant, Rubio's communications director, provided a new version of the video with correct subtitles.

"Got a good book there. All the answers are in there," Rubio said in the video. At the time, Rubio was chewing a mouthful of food.

Cruz campaign spokesman Rick Tyler said via a Facebook post late Sunday evening that the campaign had distributed the video, but without verifying the transcript. Tyler apologized posting the "inaccurate story about him [Rubio] earlier today."

"The story misquoted a remark the Senator made to the staffer. I assumed wrongly that the story was correct. According to the Cruz staffer, the Senator made a friendly and appropriate remark. Since the audio was unclear, I should not have assumed the story was correct. I've deleted the post because I would not knowingly post a false story. But the fact remains that I did post it when I should have checked its accuracy first. I regret the mistake," Tyler wrote.

Rubio's campaign has been infused with his descriptions about faith, family, and his reliance on God's word.

In an address in South Carolina in the run up to the primary, Rubio said he did not know what his future would be, but said "God is in control."

"God's in control of everything. God has a will for my life and your life and for everyone's life. Sometimes our will is not God's will and we should thank him for that. And we should be grateful for that because he knows a lot more about what is best for us. So, I think what we are called to do it be faithful and do the best we can in every circumstance and pray for God's peace," Rubio said.

"The concept of peace in Christianity is not simply the 'no war' kind of peace. It is the peace, being at peace with whatever God decides happens next. God will either me the peace to get around it or the strength to go through it."