Lion Ted: Cruz Crushes the Detroit Debate

Source: Weekly Standard | March 4, 2016 | Jonathan V. Last


Cruz’s path is more challenging still. But tonight’s strong performance can only help Cruz—both with voters and with the party regulars who would play a big role in deciding the nominee should there be a brokered convention.

What Cruz did at the debate was make three parallel cases:

1.) Trump is a fraud who can’t be trusted to keep his word.

2.) Trump is not either conservative or Republican in any meaningful way.

3.) Trump actually is the corruption that he decries.

He advanced these arguments not one at a time, but by interweaving them with specific attacks:


* Cruz’s most devastating line was probably this summation:

I understand the folks who are supporting Donald right now. You’re angry. You’re angry at Washington, and he uses angry rhetoric. But for 40 years, Donald has been part of the corruption in Washington that you’re angry about. And 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. You’re not going to stop the corruption and the cronyism by supporting someone who has used government power for private gain.


Cruz’s performance was so forceful and at one point, Trump was reduced to a spitting, orange-faced rage, calling him “Lyin’ Ted.” Lion Ted was more like it.

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