Ted Cruz’ Fantastic Response To Megyn Kelly’s Immigration Interrogation

Were it not for the Trump-Ramos grudge match last night, this would be the big presidential race media dustup of today’s news cycle.

Unfortunately it’s been overshadowed. That’s a shame, because this was a masterful performance by Cruz. The video…

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And a partial transcript

“If you have a husband and wife who are illegal immigrants, and they have two children here who are American citizens – would you deport all of them? Would you deport the American citizen children?” Kelly asked.

“Megyn, I get that that’s the question you want to ask,” Cruz said after repeatedly listing the steps Congress should take for addressing the issue. “That’s also the question every mainstream media liberal journalist wants to ask. They focus exclusively on 12 million people.”

Kelly then took issue with Cruz’s response, insisting that her question was fair.

“Is it an unfair question?” she asked the Texas lawmaker.

“It is a distraction from how we actually solve the problem,” Cruz responded. “You know, it’s also the question that [President] Barack Obama wants to focus on.”

It’s not that the question was particularly unfair. It’s a tough question, and it’s certainly framed in the way that a Jorge Ramos would accost a Republican politician with. Kelly does that, which would paint her as a left-wing anchor – and then you see her with lft-wing interview subjects and you realize she’s more of a pain in the rear than a CNN wannabe.

But Cruz politely refuses to go there, and calmly, perhaps even playfully, chides Kelly for framing the issue in so emotionally charged a manner – and then goes on to answer the question the way he wants. It’s not unresponsive, but he simply will not allow her to poison the attempt at solutions with the sob-story narrative. Cruz’ style isn’t as bombastic as Trump’s is, but he accomplishes the same thing. As Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey says…

Trump has set the tone for the low-engagement portion of this cycle with his attacks on all institutions, even the normally popular Fox News and Kelly herself. Cruz’ zinger here seems like a signal to Trump supporters saying I’m one of you. It’s only one moment in the interview, and by the end of the segment, they’re both laughing about not having to represent clients in law practices any longer, but the signal is there nonetheless. It’s a shot across the bow, and like everything Ted Cruz says, it’s deliberate and strategic.

It’s no secret that Cruz has positioned himself to claim Trump supporters if and when Trump either collapses or withdraws, but they really should have been Cruz voters from the beginning. Cruz has the policy depth and demonstrated commitment to anti-Establishment action that Trump lacks, plus a more cutting rhetorical edge that is more effective because it’s more disciplined. On top of that, no one will look in Cruz’ past to see wildly divergent positions on key conservative agenda items; Cruz has been consistently conservative since his days at Harvard, and that’s saying something. If Trump fades, Team Cruz will be the natural home for many of Trump’s supporters, and many of them may find themselves happier for that transition.

It’s this kind of performance that raises an interesting prospect – if Cruz continues, the GOP establishment might be forcedthe horror! – to support him in an effort to keep Trump from getting the nomination.

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