By Michael Warren at The Weekly Standard
Ted Cruz went a long way Wednesday night in making the case for himself as the conservative consensus candidate. It didn’t hurt that he used his first extended answer in the debate to excoriate the journalists asking the questions.
The righteous rant got one of the loudest rounds of applause of the night from the crowd at the University of Colorado. It was a smart move for Cruz to take time to go after the media since the CNBC moderators were, indeed, asking questions right out of the Hillary Clinton opposition book.
Cruz wasn’t the only one to criticize the media—Marco Rubio got off plenty of good hits, and Chris Christie had a great moment near the end mocking a question about regulating fantasy football. But Cruz’s moment set the tone for the rest of the debate, and the Texas senator took advantage of a strong opening to score a number of points throughout the night
His answer to a question about the Federal Reserve left him sounding informed and decisive. “The first thing I think we need to do is audit the Fed, and I am an original cosponsor of Ron Paul’s audit the Fed legislation,” said Cruz. “The second thing we need to do is I think we need to bring together a bipartisan commission to look at getting back to rules-based monetary policy.” Cruz criticized the Fed’s quantitative easing policy and how the bank’s activity hurts regular people.
“On Wall Street, the Fed is doing great. It’s driving up stock prices, Wall Street’s doing great. You know, today, the top one percent earn a higher share of our income than any year since 1928,” Cruz said. “But if you look at working men and women, you look at a single mom buying groceries, she sees hamburger prices have gone up nearly 40 percent. She sees her cost of electricity going up, she sees her health insurance going up, and loose money is one of the major problems. We need sound money, and I think the Fed should get out of the business of trying to juice up the economy and simply be focused on sound money and monetary policy ideally tied to gold.”
Cruz also began to define himself against the draconian conservative caricature. In discussing his tax plan, he made sure to note that under his proposal “no billionaire pays less than his secretary.” In another moment, moderator Becky Quick questioned Cruz about the dubious claim that American women make significantly less than men for the same job. Cruz used the opportunity both to show a personal side of himself as well as land a hit on Democrats.
I’ll tell you, in my family there are a lot of single moms in my family. My sister was a single mom. Both my aunts were single moms. My mom, who is here today, was a single mom when my father left us when I was 3 years old. Now, thank God my father was invited to a Bible study and became born again, and he came back to my mom and me, and we were raised together.
But the struggle of single moms is extraordinary. And, you know, when you see Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and all the Democrats talking about wanting to address the plight of working women, not a one of them mentioned the fact that under Barack Obama, 3.7 million women have entered poverty. Not one of them mentioned the fact that under Barack Obama and the big government economy, the median wage for women has dropped $733.
It was at one moment emotional and the next moment devastating against the Democratic party—in other words, gold for conservative primary voters looking for a champion.
Cruz’s weakest moment of the night demonstrates why it was otherwise a terrific debate for the first-term senator. His closing statement didn’t stray much from his stump speech, and his delivery was rote and flat.
Getting away from his talking points for almost the whole evening turned out to help Cruz a lot in this debate. It will be interesting to see if he learns that lesson for the future.
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Grumpy Cat vs. Obama
(Hat tip: “A. Nonymous”)
… And now, in closing …