Ted Cruz came off more like Richard Nixon than warm First Family material at a weird CNN town hall.
The Cruz family is way ahead of the Trumps from the beginning because Sen. Cruz’s small daughters looked scared to be at the town hall. They looked like real little girls, not some overly rehearsed adults who were trying to sell the country on Trump as a family man and a president.
Heidi Cruz talked out being blessed and meeting other families that shared their values. Heidi Cruz told a questioner that American needs more “principled people” running for office. Our first moment of hypocrisy came when Mrs. Cruz told the questioner that she needs to be herself because voters want authenticity. This insight came from a woman whose husband was caught on tape admitting to donors that his core values are a fraud.
Sen. Cruz tried to blame his New York values comment on Donald Trump. Cruz ran into the same problem that plagued Trump at the family town hall. Ted Cruz is creepy, kept delivering a stump speech, and showed little warmth. In fact, Cruz was rather creepy. His ambition for the White House was obvious and spent more time in the first thirty minutes of the town hall attacking New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio than talking about his family.
In the second half hour, Sen. Cruz did talk about meeting his wife. He called it love at first sight, and said that she was his soulmate. He talked about the early days of their relationship. Heidi Cruz said she let her husband tell the story because he loves telling the story. Heidi Cruz said Ted Cruz is an incredible listener who cares about what is in your heart. Cruz did talk about games he plays with his daughters, and how they get their good night hugs. Unlike Trump, Cruz seems to actually interact with his children in a non-professional capacity. Cruz went back to his talking points when asked about personal attacks on family. Cruz went back to attacking Trump and calling for more presidential debates.
Heidi Cruz delivered the family talking points on freedom and security. She played the working mom card and hinted that Obama has made America less safe.
The problem with these Republican town hall’s that focus on family is the Republican presidential candidates all lack personality and warmth. Listening to Cruz was a bit like imaging Richard Nixon trying to do an interview on Ellen. The CNN town halls were supposed to have a humanizing element to them, but instead they revealed that the Republican candidates lack empathy for the rest of the country.
It was telling when asked Heidi and Ted Cruz could name an obstacle that they have had to overcome.
The Ted Cruz town hall was a bizarre voyage into Republican family values land. Compared to Donald Trump’s out of touch bunch, the Cruz family looked like the better choice for Republicans. However, Heidi and Ted Cruz related as well to ordinary Americans as Ann and Mitt Romney did with an equal ability to creep people out.
Not even by an appearance on stage by the Cruz daughters could save the day, as the Republican presidential candidates are just too strange to pull off these family town halls.
Heidi Cruz blamed the news media and Washington insiders for the unlikable image of her husband, but the truth is that Ted Cruz isn’t likable because he acts like the demon love child of Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association