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 comments “reprehensible.”

“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.”