On Thursday, the Cruz campaign pulled an ad titled “Conservatives Anonymous,” which depicts a group of conservatives sitting in a circle, a la Alcoholics Anonymous, and confessing their disenchantment with the Republican Party politicians who have betrayed conservative principle. They pulled the ad because one of the stars of the ad, Amy Lindsay – in the ad, she tells one of the participants, “Maybe you should vote for more than a pretty face next time” – starred in porn films titled “Kinky Sex Club,” “Milf,” “Carnal Wishes,” and “Sex Sent Me To The ER.” Just a few days ago, she took a picture with porn star Ron Jeremy.

The Cruz campaign said they had no idea about Lindsay’s past. “The actress responded to an open casting call,” said press secretary Catherine Frazier. “She passed her audition and got the job. Unfortunately, she was not vetted by the casting company. Had the campaign known of her full filmography, we obviously would not have let her appear in the ad. The campaign is taking the ad down and will replace it with a different commercial.”

This was an embarrassment for the Cruz campaign, which currently relies on Evangelical support for a potential win in South Carolina. Furthermore, the media was sure to turn this into a huge story – they’d scream “hypocrisy” at Cruz, suggesting that he was sponsoring pornography in some roundabout way. Which he wasn’t.

That being said, Cruz shouldn’t have pulled the ad.

That’s for a couple of reasons.

First, job performance should be based on job performance, not outside activities. Nobody assumes that Cruz’s campaign reflects the values of the no-name actors in its advertising. This kind of thought policing isn’t attractive. Mozilla Firefox fired its then-CEO, Brendan Eich, for supporting traditional marriage, and conservatives rightly went ballistic. Conservatives shouldn’t hire and fire based on what people do outside of work, if those outside activities don’t impact capacity to fulfill the requirements of the job.

Second, hiring people who engage in nasty outside activities is a way of helping them escape such activities, if they want to do so. If you hire a woman engaged in prostitution to be a secretary at your firm, you’re not sponsoring prostitution. You’re actually giving the woman a ladder up from prostitution. The Cruz campaign could have used this as a Christian opportunity to reach out to Lindsay. They could have told her that they would love to see her quit her pornographic activities, and they’d be willing to help her find roles that would allow her to do so.

And so what if the media had a field day? They’re hypocrites of the highest order – Bill Clinton would employ Amy Lindsay in her day job. Cruz merely gave an actress a job because she was willing to do the job. That’s true non-discrimination.

This isn’t a big deal, but it is a missed opportunity – a so-called teachable moment. The Cruz campaign should have taken advantage of that opportunity.