On Sunday, Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz addressed a crowd of over 100 people in Barrington, New Hampshire. During his speech, the Texas Senator served up the fiery, intemperate rhetoric he has become known for. With typical bombast, he told the audience:
The Obama economy is a disaster, Obamacare is a trainwreck, and the Obama-Clinton foreign policy of leading from behind – the whole world is on fire.
His comment caught the attention of 3-year-old Julia Trant who responded nervously, by asking, “The world is on fire?” Senator Cruz, rather than clarifying to the child that he was speaking metaphorically, and that there wasn’t “a real fire” burning up the world, instead looked at the girl and repeated the claim. Cruz exclaimed:
The world is on fire. Yes! Your world is on fire!
Then perhaps recognizing that he might be frightening the young child, he continued:
But you know what? Your mommy’s here and everyone’s here to make sure the world you grow up in is better.
Cruz then continued on his doom and gloom tirade, comparing government regulators to a plague of locusts. He called for abolishing the IRS and dismantling Obamacare.
Senator Cruz was short on practical solutions, instead indulging in right-wing fantasies. He stated:
There are 110,000 agents at the IRS. We need to put a padlock on that building and take every one of those 110,000 agents and put them on our Southern border. Now look, I say that somewhat tongue-in-cheek – but think about it for a minute. Imagine you’ve traveled thousands of miles in the blinding sun, you’re dripping wet, you swim the Rio Grande and the first thing you see is 110,000 IRS agents? You’d turn around and go home too.
The fire and brimstone rhetoric did nothing to dissuade the Republicans in attendance. The base ate it up, and clamored for more. One audience member stood up and declared:
It’s D-Day in America, folks. . . We can’t wait for another Republican. We need Ted Cruz and I don’t care who he runs with. We need him and that’s it!
There is no question that Ted Cruz can rile up a partisan crowd. However, winning an election requires more than just stirring up the unbridled passion of your most committed supporters. A candidate has to propose policy solutions, and he, or she, also has to demonstrate the temperament to be a leader that Americans can trust.
Senator Cruz offers rhetoric but no solutions. Furthermore, his inability to slow his roll, long enough to reassure a little child that the world isn’t literally on fire, also shows he lacks the temperament to be a leader the American people can feel comfortable with. Senator Cruz’s fiery speech may have won over the conservative crowd in Barrington, but looking at the bigger picture, He just struck a match to his 2016 presidential aspirations.