DES MOINES, IOWA — Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) threatened to walk out of the most recent Republican primary debate debate if “one more mean question” was asked by one of the Fox News moderators about him to one of his competitors. After telling moderators, “I will say this, gosh, if you guys say — ask one more mean question, I’m going to have to leave the stage,” during the debate Cruz’s campaign consultant told the press essentially that Cruz was just kidding and it wasn’t a real threat to leave, but after the debate when reporters asked him about this moment, Cruz’s answers seemed to tell a different story.
“You know how sometimes you’re in an argument you know you’ve lost, and someone just nails your butt to the wall and so you say something that everyone thinks is stupid and once you notice that reaction you say you were just kidding to try and save face,” Cruz asked the media rhetorically, “well, that’s kinda what I was doing there. I would have totally left the stage if the crowd started cheering, but since they didn’t, I decided to play it off as a joke. See? Ha ha! I’m funny!”
Cruz then told reporters that he’d take this approach if he wins the nomination and the general election.
“I talk tough,” Cruz said, “because that’s what Republicans say presidents should do. Why do you think we call Obama a wimp even though he’s drone struck more terrorists than Bush and he had the stones to order a mission that he knew would likely result in Bin Laden’s killing.” Senator Cruz, though, insisted that “being tough doesn’t mean having to put up with meanies and jerk-butts” and that he’d call his dad if international leaders were overly rude to him.
Senator Cruz said that his dad has been fighting his battles for him all his life, so he’d expect that tradition to continue if he were elected.
“Yes, the buck stops here, but if that buck is being mean to me, I have no constitutional duty to stop that buck,” Cruz said with just a tinge of whining in his voice, “and that includes Vladimir Putin, or any other adversary. I will be tough with them. I will be unyielding with them. But mark my words, and terrorists everywhere better pay attention now — if you are mean to me when I am president I will take my nuclear launch codes and go home. I’ll just walk out of the Oval Office.”
Senator Cruz, who has made a name for himself as being particularly tough on people he doesn’t agree with while grilling them in Senate hearings and debates, said that when he is mean “it’s different.”
“Because I’m being mean as a Republican,” he said, “which means I’m just a dick to people like gays, Mexicans, Muslims, women, and Gay Mexican Muslim women. I’m not mean to white, clean, Christians…you know, real Americans.”
Cruz is currently polling behind Donald J. Trump for the Republican nomination in most nationally-recognized polls.