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Ted Cruz Lost Big In Debate

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Ted Cruz side view | Ted Cruz Lost Big In Debate| featured | cruz senate
  • A group Iowa republicans talked to Politico and rated the candidate’s debate performance.
  • The group said Cruz was the biggest loser of the debate, still coming in third, but looking bad and having the most to lose.
  • They rated Rubio as having won and Jeb bush coming in 2nd with the best debate of his candidacy on the back of an absent Trump.
  • Close to 75% of those polled thought that Trump made a mistake by skipping the debate with 25% saying it was a strong calculated play.

In the final debate before Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses, Ted Cruz had the worst night of the seven GOP presidential candidates on stage Thursday.

That’s according to a plurality of the Republican members of The POLITICO Caucus — a panel of strategists, operatives and activists in Iowa and the other three February-voting states: New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. The insiders participated in the survey immediately following the debate in Des Moines, an event more notable for the absence of Iowa and national poll-leader Donald Trump than anything else.

More than 4 in 10 GOP insiders — given the choice of the seven GOP candidates on the stage, plus Trump — rated Cruz as the loser of Thursday night’s debate, citing his defensive posture on his past immigration stances and opposition to ethanol subsidies.

“He seemed plastic and insincere,” said one Iowa Republican, who, like all respondents, completed the post-debate survey anonymously. “The crowd clearly liked Gov. [Terry] Branstad a lot more than they like Ted Cruz.”

“His entanglement with the moderators was one of the worst moments for a candidate in any of the debates,” added a New Hampshire Republican, alluding to the Texas senator’s sparring with Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace. “His opposition to ethanol was also highlighted on the eve of the Iowa caucuses.”

“He did not explain his switch on immigration policy very well,” another New Hampshire Republican said, citing Cruz’s attempts to address questions about his legislative maneuvering in the Senate during the 2013 immigration debate.

As for the winner of Thursday night’s debate, Marco Rubio (36 percent) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (29 percent) were the top two finishers, according to the insiders.

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One Iowa Republican called Rubio the “strongest and most articulate” candidate participating in the debate. A New Hampshire Republican agreed, saying the Florida senator was “the most articulate of the candidates on a variety of issues and is the most aspirational of the Republicans on stage.”

As for Bush, a number of insiders called the debate his strongest performance to date — and noted that it coincided with the absence of Trump, who has antagonized Bush more than his other competitors for the Republican nomination.

“Given his previous performances, few would believe that Jeb Bush would [come] out of one of these debates as the winner,” one New Hampshire Republican said. “Yet he stood and delivered in a strong way. It may not help him in Iowa, but it comes at an opportune time for him as he sees a surge in New Hampshire.”

Another New Hampshire Republican said Bush “seemed at ease” without Trump’s presence. And a Nevada Republican lamented: “Oh, what might have been with no Trump.”

Related: Sanders Is Just As Corrupt As Hillary

Cruz ranked third on the winners list — but even some of those who picked him inserted a caveat.

“He did not lose [and] that is a win,” a Nevada Republican said, “but the ethanol question may have hurt him.”

Cruz stood center-stage because Trump, who leads the polls nationally and in Iowa, declined to participate over what he said was poor treatment by Fox News and Megyn Kelly, one of the channel’s personalities and a moderator Thursday night.

Caucus insiders were asked whether Trump’s decision to bag the final debate before the Iowa caucuses was smart, and GOP insiders — who at various turns during the campaign mistakenly predicted Trump’s demise — again said the brash real-estate magnate had miscalculated.

Republicans — nearly three-quarters of whom said Trump’s decision to ditch the debate wasn’t smart — replied to the survey with a number of invectives, calling Trump a “petulant child,” “narcissistic,” “petty,” “whiny, pouty and childish.”

“His fight might be [with] Fox,” said one Iowa Republican, “but he took it out on the people of Iowa.”

“When Donald Trump fails to meet expectations and loses Iowa on Monday, his decision to skip the debate will immediately be the scapegoat,” a South Carolina Republican predicted. “Like Rick Perry’s ‘Oops’ moment in [2011], skipping the debate will be viewed in history as the singular event leading to the implosion of the Trump campaign.”

Just over a quarter of Republicans disagreed, arguing that Trump’s move made sense because is effectively running out the clock.

“The gamble paid off,” said a South Carolina Republican. “Trump had the most to lose and didn’t lose a thing. And he didn’t get those Megyn Kelly video montages fired into his backside. He’d have never been able to respond as effectively as Rubio and Cruz did. Sitting out helped him sit on his lead.”

“Trump got exactly what he wanted,” an Iowa Republican added. “Nobody lays a glove on him, while the rest of the field beat each other up. Better yet, Trump got both former caucus winners to attend his event, and his main competitor, Ted Cruz, might have had his worst debate performance of the campaign.”

Ted Cruz still winning? Check this news here in CNN:

By STEVEN SHEPARD, Politico

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  • Gresham Bouma says:

    Why would you guys publish this for the establishment? Immigration and ethanol subsidies are good things? I guess you guys must be beltway insiders pretending something else.

  • JOHN HENRY SLUBOWSKI says:

    Anytime the moderator’s pile on, as conservative I know Cruz is winning the fight

  • Greer says:

    I can’t put my finger on it but for some reason I don’t trust Cruz I thought Rubio was more presidential than Cruz and I trust Rubio

  • Alfred Collier says:

    Trump wasn’t there to take the heat, otherwise Trump would have won again.

  • Kimba says:

    I still dont like what he has to say, because you cant believe him. And i hear in his voice that he gets irrated easy. I dont want that in the next president. Trump is more at ease when talking, and you can believe him.

  • Joyce says:

    Ted’s stand on all the important issues is always the same and he does not waver despite the others lies. He was hammered during the debate but came out a real winner!

  • Theresa says:

    Ted Cruz is right the subsides for ethanol are wrong for the country and the tax payer. Government is too big and too intrusive. Trump’s decision to not attend reveals his narcissistic tendencies. He thinks it is all about him and it isn’t. The present occupant of the White House is a narcissist. We don’t need another one.

  • AANTHONY says:

    OF COURSE. HE DID NOT MAKE IT. HE IS NOT CREDIBLE. HE HAS TRIED TO HIDE HIS PAST BACKGROUND. AND CURRENT ASSOCIATES. WE DO NOT NEED TO BE SPOON FED CONSERVATIVE “COUGH MEDICINE SYRUP” HE IS A LIAR. OR A WOLF IN SHEEPSKIN. AMERICA IS GETTING FRAGMENTED. THE BORDERS ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, 19T DEBT. THE WAR OVERSEAS. WE ARE GOING TO BE BANKRUPT. WE NEED SOMEONE TO FIX THIS. NOT CONSERVATIVE VALUE CRAP.

  • William says:

    He is the smarties

  • Mnm says:

    Apparently most people don’t understand why ethanol is a really bad idea. Esp with subsidies that make an otherwise uncompetitive environmentally damaging business compete with oil and other energy sources. Gmo corn crops ruin the water supply and soil. The only redeeming thing is we aren’t directly consuming the crap into our bodies. Can’t say the same for our cars where ethanol is less efficient than fuel and wrecks havoc on the millions of car engines that weren’t designed to handle the crap. . So in that respect I have to say Cruz is on the right track to remove subsidies for everyone. Solar is finally coming far enough along to not be too adversely affected by it.

  • Junk Bin says:

    who give a flying frig BOUT WHAT THE hicks in iowa think. If you are against the corn and pig farmers getting lost of free stuff, you loose.
    The republicans at the debate were a mix of moderate surrenderers, rinos, isolationists, and has beens.

  • Dr Marc says:

    The polls indicate that

  • K Murray says:

    Those opinions are the republican establishment still pushing Bush. They are afraid they can’t control Cruz or Trump

  • Mike says:

    Only 12 million people watched the debate down from 24 million when Trump was center stage. With Trump on the sidelines of the last debate, Ted Cruz became the target and he didn’t fair well which could only help Trump win. No other candidate is even close.

    Ted Cruz is an American citizen because his mother is an American citizens so where Ted was born and what country his mother was in when she gave birth makes no difference. She was an American citizen at the time she gave birth.

    If Marco Rubio’s mother gave birth to Marco within the borders of the Unite States, Marco automatically becomes and is declared to be an American citizen. It doesn’t matter what nationality his mother is as long as she gave birth within the US the child is an automatic US citizen.

  • Subee says:

    Mike u are off the wall on citizenship….. Rubio is a rino and a liar
    Ted is too
    Trump is the winner

  • Jimmy Oakley says:

    FOX news idiots were gunning for Cruz constantly setting the stage for 5 other candidates to slam him. FOX is a joke of a station anymore and cannot be relied upon to honestly and earnestly present unbiased infpormation to the American people. I will watch their entertainment channels but their so-called mislabeled conservative talks shows and news is as bad as the other left leaning alphabet networks and I refuse to be duped by a network that has their own other then conservative agenda. A real joke.

  • homer says:

    Get ready for ted cruz to be the candidate

    GODS choice in my opinion

  • William Dawes says:

    Ted Cruz lost nothing at that debate. He still gets his federal income for life plus all the goodies the owners of the federal reserve bestow upon their minions in OUR government offices. Only the American People lost (again) as our once glorious Republic slipped a little farther away from us. And having an article like this on your website only plays into the hands of those who would be our controllers, the international banksters.

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