Top advisers and surrogates for Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump escalates fight with NY Times The Hill's Morning Report - Can Bernie recapture 2016 magic? Venezuela puts spotlight on Rubio MORE’s presidential campaign lashed out at GOP rival Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO’Rourke not ruling out being vice presidential candidate CNN ripped for hiring former Republican operative as political editor: 'WTF?!?!' The Hill's Morning Report - Can Bernie recapture 2016 magic? MORE on Thursday, accusing the Texas senator of fostering a “culture of dishonesty” within his campaign.


Rubio’s team is alleging that a handful of dirty campaign tricks — several of which have not been tied back to Cruz’s campaign — are the result of an atmosphere Cruz has created that encourages his aides and supporters to win at any cost.

“It’s disturbing to see the pattern from the Cruz campaign, a consistent pattern of personal destruction rooted in falsehood,” Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzTop Utah paper knocks Chaffetz as he mulls run for governor: ‘His political career should be over’ Boehner working on memoir: report Former GOP lawmaker on death of 7-year-old migrant girl: Message should be ‘don't make this journey, it will kill you' MORE (R-Utah), a Rubio supporter, told reporters on a conference call. “It’s dirty pool and I think people are sick of it and fed up with it.”

The latest flap is over a photo on the website, in which Rubio’s head has been photo-shopped onto the body of a man shaking hands with President Obama.

“My fellow South Carolinians do not mind tough politics but it has to be fair, it has to be accurate,” Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyThe family secret Bruce Ohr told Rod Rosenstein about Russia case Trey Gowdy joins Fox News as a contributor Congress must take the next steps on federal criminal justice reforms MORE (R-S.C.), a Rubio supporter, said in a video on Thursday. “So when you run ads … that are so fake that you photoshop someone else’s head on another body, come on — the truth matters.”

The Cruz campaign has not yet responded to a question about the altered photo.

Over the last several weeks, Cruz’s rivals have blamed his campaign for illegal push polls going out to South Carolina voters, as well as a fake Facebook page in which Gowdy retracts his support for the Florida Republican.

The Cruz campaign denies being involved with either of those. But the Rubio campaign is blaming a lax moral culture within Cruz’s campaign for the deceptions.

“We don’t know whether the Cruz campaign is specifically behind Facebook post or not,” Rubio strategist Todd Harris said.

“What we do know is that there’s a culture of dishonesty from top to bottom in the Cruz campaign, where telling lies is not only tolerated, but seems to be encouraged. He’s created a culture with no premium on truth and this is the result of it.”

Cruz’s rivals have been seeking to build a case against him as a untruthful candidate who is willing to play dirty.

The narrative began just hours before the Iowa caucuses, when the Cruz campaign spread false reports that Ben Carson was dropping out of the race. Cruz has personally apologized and called that a misunderstanding.

Cruz’s rivals also point to an official-looking mailer sent to voters in Iowa that alleged the recipient must vote or be in violation of the law.

And last week, a television station pulled an ad from an outside group supporting Cruz but not affiliated with his campaign because of questionable claims it made about Rubio.

Rubio and Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration MORE have also taken issue with Cruz’s attacks on their records, claiming that the Texas Republican is distorting their positions on key issues like abortion, gun rights and illegal immigration.

At a fiery press conference with reporters on Wednesday, Cruz unloaded on his rivals for calling him “liar” every time he seeks to make distinctions between his record and theirs.

“Two candidates in this race, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio, both have the same pattern,” Cruz said. “Whenever someone points out their record, they simply start screaming liar, liar liar. It’s a very odd dynamic.”

Read more from The Hill: 

Rubio campaign knocks Cruz over faked photo