07:47 GMT +311 December 2018
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    Ted Cruz speaks during the Republican presidential debate.

    Ted Cruz Distributes Mailer Showing Abe Lincoln in Daesh Costume

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    After sending out mailers accusing Iowa voters of committing a "voting violation," the latest piece of propaganda from Ted Cruz's campaign shows President Abraham Lincoln dressed like an armed Daesh extremist.

    In the latest Cruz mailer sent to Iowans prior to Monday's caucus, the iconic Lincoln Memorial is branded with a Daesh symbol. A seated Lincoln is wearing a headscarf and has a large knife in one hand, an assault rifle on his back and a bandolier slung around his chest.

    This mailer, sent by the Ted Cruz campaign to voters in Iowa, shows President Abraham Lincoln dressed like a Daesh extremist.
    This mailer, sent by the Ted Cruz campaign to voters in Iowa, shows President Abraham Lincoln dressed like a Daesh extremist.

    The mailer says that the United States is "under assault."

    "If I'm elected President," the mailer reads, "America and the core values that make us who we are will never be compromised. We'll rebuild our military, kill the terrorists, and restore America's greatness as a world leader."

    The mailer says that Cruz, if elected, will "bar refugees from countries that harbor terrorists, like Syria," among other promises.

    In November, Cruz called for a ban on Syrian Muslims entering the United States, citing the inability of the Obama administration and intelligence agencies to distinguish between refugees and terrorists.

    This is not the first time the Cruz campaign has sent a controversial mailer to voters in Iowa, where the far-right Republican candidate is in a tight race with GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.

    Another mailer labeled "voting violation" listed a letter-grade voting "score" for the recipients and some neighbors based on their prior turnout. The mailers say the scores are a matter of public record. It warns recipients that other people will see their score and urges them to the caucus on Monday to "improve your score."

    Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said that the mailer "misrepresents the role of my office, and worse, misrepresents Iowa election law."

    "Accusing citizens of Iowa of a 'voting violation' based on Iowa caucus participation, or lack thereof, is false representation of an official act," Pate said. "There is no such thing as an election violation related to frequency of voting. Any insinuation or statement to the contrary is wrong, and I believe it is not in keeping in the spirit of the Iowa caucuses."

    Former Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, chairman of Cruz's Iowa campaign, said the Cruz mailers are similar to ones sent by the Republican Party of Iowa in previous elections.

    "These mailers are common practice to increase voter turnout," Schultz said in a statement. "Our mailer was modeled after the very successful 2014 mailers that the Republican Party of Iowa distributed to motivate Republican voters to vote, and which helped elect numerous Republican candidates during that cycle."

    The campaign stunt influenced at least one Iowan to caucus – for Cruz's GOP rival Marco Rubio.

    In a since-deleted tweet, Tom Hinkeldey, of Alta, Iowa, said Cruz's "public shaming campaign has inspired me to caucus on Monday,” for Rubio. Hinkeldey said he was already leaning toward Rubio, but the mailer "took me over the edge finally."

    Cruz and Trump are in a heated battle in Iowa, which holds the country's first votes. A Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics survey released Saturday night had Trump holding a 28% to 23% lead.

    Iowa Caucus, 2016 Election, Daesh, Marco Rubio, Abraham Lincoln, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, United States
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