Cruz enters race with website challenge

Ted Cruz, Website, Obama
TedCruz.com

Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzDems to Clinton: Ignore Trump on past scandals Meet the billionaire donor behind Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker Party chairs see reversal of fortune MORE’s nascent campaign for the White House is running into its first signs of digital trouble.

While the firebrand Texas Republican prepares to announce his bid for the presidency on Monday morning, he does not appear to have control over the most obvious website to rally supporters: TedCruz.com.

Instead, people trying to visit that site will get the opposite message.  

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“Support President Obama,” the site says in simple white text on a black background. “Immigration reform now!”

According to Internet records, TedCruz.com was created in April of 2004 but then switched ownership last spring. Archived versions of the website indicate that it was formerly run by an Arizona-based real estate firm, Ted Cruz and Associates. 

Mother Jones last year reported that the Arizona lawyer continued to control the site through at least May, at which point he had replaced his professional page with a brief message similar in style to the current one. Instead of supporting Obama, however, the site previously said; “COMING SOON: Presidential Candidate, I Luv CHRISTIE!!!!!” 

It appears the Cruz campaign will be using TedCruz.org as its primary website.  

Opponents have also taken control of an alternate domain name for Cruz’s supporters: TedCruzforAmerica.com.

Instead of leading to a site for the senator or his political action committee, that website — which was created just Monday morning — automatically redirects users to HealthCare.gov, the website for people to find health insurance under ObamaCare. 

The Cruz campaign’s lack of control over related domain names will likely amount to little more than an early hiccup for the GOP lawmaker, but it highlights the role of domain name “squatters.”

Those people, who buy up scores of campaign-related website names, are looking to cash in with six-figure paydays from campaigns that may be eager to control their digital presence. 

This story was updated at 12:18 p.m.