Ben Quayle, son of the former vice president and a Republican candidate for a House seat from Arizona, was accused of misleading voters this week when he sent out a mailer touting his family values and hanging out with two adorable little girls.
As Politico put it: “Only problem: Quayle, 33, and his wife Tiffany have no children.”
Several news organizations, first the Arizona Capital Times and then Politico, ThinkProgress and others, jumped on the story. The Capital Times, for example, wrote, “So is Quayle intentionally trying to leave voters with the impression that he’s a ‘family man’? It’s plausible.”
And one of his primary opponents, Vernon Parker, asked in a press release why Quayle was “renting a family” for the mailers.
Well, here’s the thing.
Quayle readily admits the little girls aren’t his daughters. They’re his nieces.
“To call my nieces a rent-a-family is pretty obnoxious,” he told a local news station. “They are my family. They’re my extended family.”
Most of the stories relied on the Capital Times, which had a quote from a Quayle spokesman saying, “They’re just terribly cute kids.” The spokesman was apparently wrong and the Capital Times, for one, corrected its story.
During his segment on local news, Quayle brought out his nieces in front of the camera.
“They want to clear their name,” he says.
We’re gonna go ahead and chalk this one up as a win for Quayle.