On Tuesday night, the two Senate candidates faced off in Dallas for a very intense and cutting debate. Ted Cruz was ridiculous as usual, making two especially ludicrous claims, and Paul Sadler attacked as well as he could. You can watch the debate here. It's in four parts.
The beginning of the debate was fairly hilarious. Sadler, sitting right across from Cruz and looking him in the eye, asked why the Koch candidate wouldn't agree to six debates with him. Sadler is a self-confident candidate who stared him down and made Cruz look shifty during the beginning. But Cruz is a supremely self-confident – well, smug – being. He clearly considers himself the ultimate debater, and his rare campaigning these days proves that he's gone from a sprint to, at best, a power-walk.
There's also this: Ted Cruz is completely crazy.
When talking about Romney's 47 percent comments (9:30 in part one), Cruz accused the president of keeping people on welfare so they keep voting Democratic. “That's the craziest thing I've ever heard,” Sadler responded. Remember Newt Gingrich's “food stamp president” comments? Same racially charged vein. Cruz tried pathetically to deny making the accusation of manipulation after Sadler took him to task for it.
Cruz also wouldn't admit that the president is an American or a Christian (at the end of part one). That's a dog-whistle – actually, no, just a regular whistle – to all the birthers and racists out there whose support Cruz needs. It's despicable. But his base is so crazy that if the Canada-born Cruz ever ran for president, they probably wouldn't even question his actually foreign birth certificate.
It was a good debate for Sadler. It's hard to know how many undecided voters watched it, or whether there's any chance for a solid Sadler showing in November, but we can say this: Sadler is holding down the fort for Democrats and soon enough, Texas Democrats with his tenacity will win state-wide elections.
Austin-American Statesman has more debate details here. The next debate will be October 19th.