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— Ted Cruz is getting hammered by his Republican rivals over what they call a pattern of unethical campaign tactics and inaccurate statements by the Texas senator who has shaped his White House bid around trust.

Cruz has had some trouble getting all his facts straight in debates, has used campaign tactics that some find suspicious and had an ad by an outside group temporarily pulled for questions about its accuracy. His opponents are blunter, calling him simply a liar.

The Texas senator, whose 2015 autobiography is titled, “A Time for Truth,” shrugged off the criticism Tuesday while campaigning for Saturday’s South Carolina Republican primary.

“Both Donald Trump and Marco Rubio have this very strange pattern where if you point to their actual record, if you point to the words that have come out of their mouth, they don’t respond on substance. They just scream ‘Liar! Liar! Liar!’” Cruz said Tuesday.

Both Trump and Rubio have accused Cruz of distorting their records with increasing frequency. And while such charges are common in presidential politics, Cruz’s team has also faced rebukes for misleading voters in recent weeks from multiple outside groups — the Iowa Secretary of State and a prominent anti-abortion group, among them.

Virtually all of the 2016 candidates have been caught stretching the truth over the course of the campaign, including Trump and Rubio. But only Cruz has embraced trust — and the play on his first name, “TRUSTED,” as the fundamental rationale of his campaign.

Carson adviser, friend is shut out

Texas businessman Terry Giles, Ben Carson's former campaign chairman and close friend of more than 20 years, has been “shut out” from his presidential campaign.

Giles, who was one of the dominant forces behind Carson's exploratory committee back in early 2015, is no longer formally connected to the campaign nor is he acting as an adviser, sources close to the Carson's campaign told Bloomberg.

Giles, who hired most of the senior Carson campaign staffers and laid the foundation for the Detroit native’s campaign, says he's taking time off to recharge.

Bloomberg News

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