Ted Cruz continues, as Dan Rather told us when he stopped by the office last month, to be a desperado waiting for a train. Throughout Wednesday night's second Republican debate, Cruz leaned on the ropes, stressing his extreme right-wing bona fides but refraining from attacking Donald Trump or any of his other opponents.
Maybe relying on his experience from the Ivy League debate circuit, Cruz, who has a Harvard law degree, largely obeyed the rules set by moderator Jake Tapper. He waited his turn and was rewarded with about 10 minutes of the three-plus hours of the debate with which to speak.
Cruz attacked his usual suspects. Planned Parenthood and President Obama's Iran deal, especially, received Cruz's scorn.
"These Planned Parenthood videos are horrifying," Cruz said, referring to the largely debunked "sting" videos the Center for Medical Progress made at women's health clinics across the country. "I encourage every American to watch these videos and see Planned Parenthood senior officials cruelly bartering and selling the body parts of human beings."
Nothing of the sort happens in the videos, which were substantially manipulated in the editing process.
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Trump wasn't great, he seemed to tire as the long debate wore on and got stung pretty good by Carly Fiorina. That's probably the best news to come out of the debate for Cruz, who looks set to inherit Trump's nativist horde should the real estate developer drop. Cruz also hit a home run with his response to a question from Tapper as to which woman he wants on the $10 bill. Cruz said he'd leave Alexander Hamilton, maybe the most interesting of the founding fathers, on the $10 bill. Instead, Cruz said he would take Andrew Jackson off the $20 bill and replace the racist killer with Rosa Parks.
He also released a Reagan-ripping off ad called Scorpion, just before the debate.