Memo to future presidential candidates from Ted Cruz: 1) If you're going to issue an autobiography to promote your campaign; and 2) if your book highlights your father's heroic adventures in the 1950s Cuban revolution as a testament to your own values and courage; and 3) if you're going to grandiosely title your book A Time for Truth — you really need to fact-check your father's old war stories.
Because if you don't, some snooping reporter will.
Indeed, Jason Horowitz of The New York Times interviewed dozens of Cuba's revolutionary veterans and some childhood friends of Ted's father, Rafael.
Turns out Daddy was more of a fibber than a fighter.
For example, in his frequent speeches for his son's campaign, Rafael enthralls Republican audiences with a vivid recounting of being a rebel combatant in the watershed Battle of Santiago, led by revolutionary hero Frank País.
"I knew Frank País personally," the elder Cruz says in speeches, "I saw him 12 hours before he was killed."
Ted includes this dramatic moment in A Time for Truth — but there's no truth to it!
País was not killed in that battle or in Santiago. He was executed elsewhere seven months later by the Cuban dictatorship.
And none of the veterans remember Rafael Cruz at all, nor could Rafael provide a single name to the Times of the rebel comrades he claims to have fought beside.
Also, Ted's book hails his father as a rebel saboteur, and Rafael's speeches are laced with flashy reminiscences of gun running and throwing Molotov cocktails.
Again, though, when pressed by the Times, Rafael the yarn spinner could not come up with any specific acts of sabotage he performed or recall any targets of his cocktail tossings.
No wonder Ted is infamous as a prevaricator, con artist and outright liar — he's a chip off the old block!
Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit jimhightower.com.