News & Politics

Ted Cruz's 5 Best Moments in Thursday's Debate

Ted Cruz racked up a powerful victory during Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate in Detroit, Mich. Both Cruz and Marco Rubio attacked front-runner Donald Trump, but Cruz proved more adept. In a debate which opened with Trump discussing the size of his hands (and perhaps something else?), Cruz was able to dominate the narrative and win the hearts of viewers in a focus group with Frank Luntz.

Here are 5 of Cruz’s stellar moments throughout the debate:

1. For 40 Years, Donald Has Been Part of DC Corruption Early on in the debate, Cruz acknowledged the anger of Trump’s supporters, but he declared that “for 40 years, Donald has been part of the corruption in Washington that you’re angry about.” Cruz added that “you’re not going to stop the corruption in Washington by supporting someone who has supported liberal Democrats for four decades, from Jimmy Carter to John Kerry to Hillary Clinton.”

2. Donald, Learn Not To Interrupt

One theme of Cruz’s performance Thursday night was the anger-management counseling he gave Donald Trump. At one point, when Trump interrupted him, Cruz responded, “Donald, learn not to interrupt. It’s not complicated — count to ten, Donald. Count to ten. Count to ten.” Trump declared, “give me a break,” but the point was made.

3. Candidate Yoga: I Know You Can Do It!

In a moment that could easily have gone in Trump’s favor, Cruz took the upper hand by encouraging The Donald to calm down. Cruz responded to a Trump attack, and Trump interrupted him — with what likely seemed a salient point. Nevertheless, Cruz replied: “Donald please, I know it’s hard not to interrupt, but just try. Breathe, breathe, breathe — you can do it! Breathe, I know it’s hard.” By coaching Trump, Cruz seemed like the better man.

All the same, Marco Rubio got a fun little jab in there — “When they’re done with the yoga, can I answer a question here?”

4. You Cannot Care About Conservative Supreme Court Justices, and…

A few seconds after the coaching lesson, Cruz had another breakout moment, when he declared that Donald Trump could not possibly care about conservative Supreme Court justices, due to his record of supporting liberals. “You cannot — in fact — care about conservative Supreme Court justices, and support Jimmy Carter for president,” Cruz declared. He also listed off John Kerry and Harry Reid.

Then he delivered the punchline: “And you cannot care about conservative Supreme Court justices and write four checks to Hillary Clinton for her to be president, if you care at all about the Second Amendment or religious liberty, or anything else.”

5. Detroit…Has Been Utterly Decimated By Failed Left-Wing Policies Although most of Cruz’s standout moments came in opposition to Trump, one of his finest successes centered around discussing the city of Detroit. “Detroit is a great city, with a magnificent legacy, that has been utterly decimated by 60 years of failed left-wing policies,” Cruz declared. He praised Detroit for “funding the arsenals of democracy” in World War II, and added that “in the 1960s, Detroit was the Silicon Valley of America — it had the highest per capita income in the country.” Then the kicker: “And then for 50 years, left-wing Democrats have pursued destructive tax policies, weak crime policies, and have driven the citizens out.” Cruz then detailed how he would bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. and Detroit specifically. This strong answer bolstered Cruz in the eyes of Luntz’s focus group, scoring a 96 percent.