An assessment of how candidates answer debate questions.
Certain candidates are notorious for evading answering questions. Some outright lie! What fascinates people this year is that Donald Trump is straight forward.
Donald Trump’s primary opponent at this point in the presidential race is Senator Ted Cruz. It is worthwhile to ask if and how Cruz actually answers debate questions. To do that four of the debates to-date have been evaluated, comparing the Cruz answers to the actual questions he is asked.
As one article explained him, “Cruz comes in with soaring expectations, but it’s unclear how his skills—and penchant for long-winded answers—will translate onstage.” The following are quotes from actual debates held to date. It is being proven out that Cruz is long-winded, but one has to wonder if his speeches are just so much wind.
The August 2015 debate, featuring moderators Chris Wallace, Bret Baier, and Megyn Kelly.
WALLACE: Senator Cruz, your colleague, Senator Paul, right there next to you, said a few months ago he agrees with you on a number of issues, but he says you do nothing to grow the party. He says you feed red meat to the base, but you don’t reach out to minorities. You have a toxic relationship with GOP leaders in Congress. You even called the Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell a liar recently. How can you win in 2016 when you’re such a divisive figure?
Cruz’s response was criticism of the Republican leadership in the senate. He did not come close to answering the question.
WALLACE: Senator Cruz, “will you support Kate Steinle’s Law,” which would impose a mandatory five-year prison term for an illegal who is deported and then returns to this country? “And will you defund sanctuary cities for violating federal law?”
CRUZ: absolutely yes, to the first part. No response to the second half.
KELLY: Senator Cruz,
You asked the chairman of the joint chiefs a question: “What would it take to destroy ISIS in 90 days?” He told you “IISIS will only be truly destroyed once they are rejected by the populations in which they hide.” And then you accused him of pushing Medicaid for the Iraqis.
How would you destroy ISIS in 90 days?
CRUZ: Did not respond to the question, but blamed Obama for failed leadership.
BAIER: Senator Cruz, in your view, have Russia and China committed of cyber war, and if you were president, what would you do about it?
CRUZ: Well, Bret, of course they have, and over the last six and a half years we’ve seen the consequences of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy. Cruz again did not answer the crux of the question “what would you do about it?”
Milwaukee theater debate
BARTIROMO: Senator Cruz. You’re calling for a 10 percent income tax and a 16 percent business tax. What other elements do you need in this plan to actually create jobs?
CRUZ: The second element is regulatory reform, pulling back the armies of regulators that have descended like locusts on small businesses.
And the third element is sound money. Every time we’ve pursued all three of those — whether in the 1920s with Calvin Coolidge or the 1960s with JFK or the 1980s with Ronald Reagan — the result has been incredible economic growth. We have done it before, and with leadership, we can do it again.
BARTIROMO: Senator Cruz, …explain how your plan works. How can you cut taxes as much as you propose without running up debt and deficits?
CRUZ: For all intents and purposes Cruz evaded the answer to the question.
Bartiromo responded by saying “But you haven’t told us how to pay for it.”
CRUZ: Senator Cruz directed listeners to go to his website. First, he well knows that a very high percentage of people will not go to his website. Second, for the few that actually go to his website it offers no more specifics than his stage answer.
Considerable time could be reviewing the transcripts of each of the debates. In just about every exchange we would see that Senator Ted Cruz is long on words and short on substance, and even shorter on answers.
In 2008 The United States elected a president that was long on rhetoric and short on substance. Now, in 2016 we are faced with that very same thing happening again. The only difference is that the rhetoric comes from the opposite end of the political spectrum.
In 2020 we don’t need to be asking ourselves “How did we screw-up twelve years in a row?”
That Is The Way I See It.