After Ted Cruz appeared at a Christian
conservative conference in November hosted by Kevin Swanson, his
presidential campaign condemned Swanson's anti-gay remarks.
Swanson is known for his support of
imposing the death penalty for homosexuality.
At the event, which took place in Iowa,
Swanson said that he was not encouraging the death penalty for gays
because they first need time to repent.
When MSNBC's Rachel Maddow asked Cruz
spokesman Rick Tyler whether the campaign would denounce Swanson's
anti-gay rhetoric, he answered that Swanson's calls for the death
penalty were “not explicit” enough to warrant a response.
On Friday night, Maddow returned to the
subject, pointing out that after dismissing her questions the Cruz
campaign quietly distanced itself from Swanson shortly afterwards in
comments to USA Today.
In that article, Tyler called Swanson's
“Senator Cruz is passionate about
religious liberties,” Tyler
wrote in an email. “Many respected organizations were
sponsoring [the conference], but, given these offensive comments, it
was a mistake for Senator Cruz to appear at the event.”