Republican presidential candidate Senator Rafael “Ted” Cruz (R-Texas) took the stage as “stand in frontrunner” during Thursday night’s GOP debate in place of Donald Trump (R-N.Y.), the “real” frontrunner, at the last minute. In what looked like an attempt to fill Trump’s huge absentee shoes, Sen. Cruz took a page from the Trump playbook that included his bombastic attitude and bullying ways.
It didn’t end too well for the senator, and he failed miserably trying to “trump” Trump.
Hosted by Fox News in partnership with Google, the debate moderators included Bret Baier, Chris Wallace, and Megyn Kelly – the candidates on the debate stage included Sen. Cruz, Ben Carson (R-), Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J.), Governor John Kasich (R-Ohio), former Governor Jeb Bush (R-Fla.), Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). The exchange between Sen. Cruz and moderator Wallace took place right around the 25 to 30-minute mark.
Baier directed a question to Sen. Paul about Sen. Cruz’s newest ad regarding Sen. Paul’s father. Wallace jumped in afterwards, and directed a question to Sen. Rubio about Sen. Cruz’s rhetoric versus his record, after which he asked Gov. Christie whether he thought Senators Cruz and Paul were ready to be Commander in Chief.
Wallace then asked Gov. Bush whether the two senators had “unrealistic ideas on how to fight terrorists,” but Sen. Cruz interrupted Wallace before he got to ask, and said, “Chris, I was mentioned in that question,” while Gov. Bush jumped in to say he wasn’t. Wallace agreed with Gov. Bush, and tried to keep the debate moving, but Sen Cruz said, “Actually I was.”
Sen. Cruz refused to let Wallace move on, but Wallace countered that, “Sir, I know you like to argue about the rules, but we’re going to conduct a debate.” The entire exchange lasted about as long as an answer would have taken – if that – and accomplished absolutely nothing except show the audience how he likes to rewrite the rules.
When Wallace finally got to Sen. Cruz, he said, “now you have a chance to respond,” but again, the senator whined with his best Trump-esque attitude that,
“Chris, I would note that that the last four questions have been, ‘Rand, please attack Ted. Marco, please attack Ted. Chris, please attack Ted. Jeb, please attack Ted’ … Let me just say this …”
At that point, Wallace said, “It’s a debate sir,” and Sen. Cruz responded to say a “debate is a policy issue,” and then he pounced on Wallace to say,
“Well, no, no. A debate actually is a policy issue, but I will say this. Gosh, if you guys ask one more mean question I may have to leave the stage.”
Oh no, Sen. Cruz might have to leave the stage… Sen. Cruz continued whining, and then “suggested” that instead of helping candidates attack one another, the moderators should focus on who has the ability to fix the country. It’s a good point, really.
Although the audience applauded Sen. Cruz, their sentiment was lukewarm at best. It was easy to see Sen. Cruz struggling with emulating the frontrunner, and his attempt at trumping Trump just didn’t work.
Trump weaseled out of Thursday’s debate just days before it was scheduled. Fox News refused to cave to his demands because the “freedom of the press” that Trump forgets about – Trump can’t dictate what or how the press operates.
In the end, although Sen. Cruz might be neck and neck with Trump in some polls, it’s clear he doesn’t have the Trump bombast. If he can’t adapt to fill in for Trump, and expect to be attacked, what makes Sen. Cruz think he’ll succeed as Commander in Chief?
Watch Sen. Cruz fail at trying to play Trump, and the rest of the entire GOP debate hosted by Fox News and Google below.
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