The Week on Politwoops: Sen. Cruz’s tiger rug, a Spanish lesson and more

A deleted image from the @SenTedCruz Twitter account of Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee kneel next to a tiger skin rug in an office.
Deleted image via Politwoops.

Welcome to another roundup looking at the last week’s deletions from U.S. politicians archived by our Politwoops project. We start with a surprising deletion from the official account of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that said, “Did a little shopping for the office with @SenMikeLee in Houston today” and included the image to the right. The deletion was a surprise because this particular tweet was deleted after a week of being public and well after it made an impact across social media.

Many media outlets covered this message with Roll Call describing it as “Sen. Ted Cruz did a little troll hunting April 23, baiting the entirety of the Internet-enabled world with a perplexing pic of an urban safari that incited carnage across the social mediasphere” and the Daily Mail saying he “sparked fury among animal lovers.” Indeed, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals issued a press release and Twitchy collected responses in a blog post titled, “‘Despicable lump of inhuman flesh’: Ted Cruz’ photo with tiger skin rug triggers massive avalanche of fury.” Sen. Cruz’s office has not returned my request for comment on the deletion, but the Washington Post got this response to the tweet pre-deletion,

Cruz’s spokeswoman Catharine Frazier says he was kidding, and had no intention of bringing the tiger pelt back to Washington. He had hosted a fundraiser in his home state for Lee and “they ran across it in Houston and took a picture.” She could not say whether it was real.

In a less surprising deletion, the official account for Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, removed a message that said, “Did you know that Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for 5th of May?” Rep. Fudge removed the rather basic Spanish lesson after 20 minutes and replaced it later with a more advanced bit of Cinco de Mayo trivia that said, “Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican-French Battle of Puebla in 1862. Centuries later, the world celebrates this holiday with Mexico.” In what could be Cinco de Mayo reference, the official account of Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas, deleted a tweet that said, “On this day, we commemorate all those who strive for cooperation and friendship between our two great nations.” Rep. Green’s account did not clarify which nations he was referring to or post a tweet with a similar message.

An image of two Disney characters emerging from eggs that was deleted from the Twitter account of congressional candidate Michael McKenna.
Deleted image via Politwoops.

Speaking of holiday greetings, Michael McKenna, a Democratic candidate in Florida’s 10th district, deleted a tweet after two weeks that said, “Happy Easter from the Mouse House in FL’s 10th Congressional District! -TEAM McKenna, Candidate for U.S. Congress” and included the image to the left. Thom Tillis, a Republican running for U.S. Senate from North Carolina, deleted two tweets referring and linking to a video/interview that his “son made for the campaign.” No similar tweets replaced this deletion and no video fitting this description is on his YouTube account. Other perplexing deletions this week include Gov. Jerry Brown, D-Calif., who deleted a missive saying, “@sallyquinndc please explain” and Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., who removed a tweet after three days that said, “@jasoninthehouse Good job Jason on Meet the Press explaining #Benghazi is not about politics but pursuing truth; an Amer. Man died #WorthIt.”

Last week’s curious surge of Republican talking point deletions surrounding how only 2/3 of people who signed up for Obamacare have paid now makes a little more sense as insurers reported to Congress that “Over 80 percent of ObamaCare enrollees have paid premiums.” The image from the House GOP’s flickr account that was shared by folks such as Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., and Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo. has now been deleted and those tweets show an error message instead.

Thanks for reading and as always, please send us an email if you notice anyone we’re missing!