As the 2016 election has progressed, Ted Cruz has somehow emerged from the fray as the Republican alternative to Donald Trump. He’s outperformed the expectations that were set for him at zero, and is now running on a platform that is basically, “Hey, at least I’m not Donald Trump.” Because Donald Trump is such a loud, showy, obnoxious candidate, Cruz has been able to get away with quietly waiting in the wings, patiently biding his time until he shift himself from second place to first at the convention. As my colleague Lize Burr pointed out yesterday, the strategy is eerily similar to how he got elected in Texas, first finishing in second place during the primary, and taking the race in a low-turnout runoff.
Letting Ted Cruz get away with such a strategy once again is dangerous, and we can’t forget it. Luckily, Ted Cruz is doing an excellent job of reminding us of how dangerous he could be all on his own — all we have to do is pay attention. The latest reminder came this week during an interview with Megyn Kelly on Fox News, where he reiterated his support for banning abortions during cases of rape and incest. Kelly’s question and Cruz’s answer are below (emphasis added):
KELLY: [Y]ou don’t favor a rape or an incest exception to abortion and for people like me, this may be a problem in getting behind President Ted Cruz. They think you may be too far right on social issues.
CRUZ: Well, listen, let’s talk – you know, when it comes to rape, I’ve spent a lot of years in law enforcement. I was the solicitor general in the state of Texas and I have handled cases with horrific cases of rape, of people who committed child rape, people – I went before the U.S. Supreme Court and argued in defense of state laws imposing capital punishment for the very worst child rapists. And when it comes to rape, rape is a horrific crime against the humanity of a person and needs to be punished and punished severely but at the same time, as horrible as that crime is, I don’t believe it’s the child’s fault. And we weep at the crime. We want to do everything we can to prevent the crime on the front end and to punish the criminal, but I don’t believe it makes sense to blame the child.
Megyn Kelly responded to this by pushing back at Cruz, telling him that his policy “would be forcing the mother to go through unspeakable trauma to carry her rapist’s baby for nine months.” Cruz’s answer? Changing the subject to argue that abortion laws should be up to the states.
While the media has continued to write piece after piece about Donald Trump’s misogynist history, Ted Cruz has been spewing his own anti-woman garbage all across the country. Just because Cruz isn’t reality-show loud about his hateful views doesn’t mean he’s a better candidate for women. Ted Cruz is a more extreme version of every anti-woman, anti-LGBT, anti-immigrant policy the mainstream GOP has ever had, and since he’s more boring to write about than Donald Trump, he’s been able to get away with it. Every media outlet across the board has written something about Donald Trump’s bizarre comments regarding his baby daughter’s breasts (which are admittedly gross and terrible). Meanwhile, Ted Cruz is going on national television, saying “Why yes, I think it absolutely fine to force a victim of sexual assault to carry her rapist’s baby to term,” and it is barely a blip on the radar.
As Texans, we know firsthand how ignoring Ted Cruz until it’s too late can come back to hurt us. The rest of the country is about to make the same mistake we did. Let’s do our best to stop them.