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The Lid: Shady Cruz Camp Tactics Play Into Rivals’ Narratives

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… While campaigning for Bernie Sanders in South Carolina on Monday, actor Danny Glover said he wished he could knock on every door in the state ahead of Saturday’s Democratic primary. Much to our disappointment, he did NOT add “...but I’m getting too old for this.”

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‘16 from 30,000

Coming off a disappointing third-place finish in South Carolina, Ted Cruz’s campaign took another blow on Monday when the Texas senator asked for the resignation of Communications Director Rick Tyler. Tyler’s offense was spreading a video that inaccurately portrayed Marco Rubio saying there are “not many answers” in the Bible. (He said the opposite, in fact.) It was the latest in a number of maneuvers by the Cruz campaign that have been met with scorn by his GOP rivals.

Just how much voters care about campaign tactics is a little unclear, but here are some reasons why it’s not good news for Cruz. For one, it is a distraction two days after an unsettling finish in the Palmetto State and one day before the Nevada caucuses. And it does help justify some of his rivals’ complaints about underhanded tactics being used by Cruz and his staff. (Earlier on Monday, Rubio called on Cruz to hold someone on his team accountable. And don’t forget the ongoing tiff between Carson and Cruz over the Iowa caucus results too.) Exit polls in South Carolina showed Cruz led among voters who said their top candidate quality was someone who “shares my values.” Running three points behind Cruz in that category was Marco Rubio. If voters begin to question those values by the way his campaign operates, Rubio could stand to gain.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

FOR THE RECORD…

“We just got an army of people, who, and many women, who left their kitchens to go out and go door to door and to put yard signs up for me. All the way back, when — you know, things were different.”

- John Kasich, recalling his first run for state Senate in 1978.

TOMORROW’S SKED

Bernie Sanders holds a rally in Norfolk, Va. Hillary Clinton is in South Carolina.

Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump campaign in Nevada.

Marco Rubio holds rallies in Michigan and Minnesota.