Politics & Policy

The Corner

PBS: Ted Cruz and His Father Are ‘Satanic’

New York Times columnist David Brooks said Sen. Ted Cruz’s “dark and satanic tones” are now being copied elsewhere in the Republican primary. Appearing on PBS’s Newshour this weekend, Brooks said, “Cruz is somehow beginning to get some momentum from Iowa and elsewhere. And so people are either mimicking him, which Rubio is doing a little by adopting some of the dark and satanic tones that Cruz has, and so –”

At which point host Judy Woodruff quickly interjected, “What did you just say?”

“If you watch a Cruz speech, it’s like, we have got this enemy, we have got that enemy, we’re going to stomp on this person, we’re going to crush that person, we’re going to destroy that person,” Brooks explained. “It is an ugly world in Ted Cruz’s world, and it’s combative, and it’s angry, and it’s apocalyptic.”

Co-panelist David Corn, Washington bureau chief of Mother Jones magazine, picked up on the diabolical theme: “If you go to a speech from his dad, who is a pastor, evangelical, Rafael Cruz, it actually is satanic. He — I watched a speech in which he said Satan was behind the Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage.” 

Here’s the full exchange: 

WOODRUFF: Well, I want to ask you about — there is more to talk about, about the Democrats. But on the Republican side, you’re seeing — yes, you saw this Clinton-Sanders back and forth, but, on the Republican side, among — David Brooks, among the so-called establishment Republicans, they’re taking more potshots at one another. You’re hearing a lot of back and forth between Rubio and Cruz, between Rubio and Christie. So, what’s going on over there, or is anybody making any headway among that group?

BROOKS: Yes, Ted Cruz is making headway. There’s — you begin to see little signs of liftoff. Trump has sort of ceiling-ed out. Carson is collapsing. And Cruz is somehow beginning to get some momentum from Iowa and elsewhere. And so people are either mimicking him, which Rubio is doing a little by adopting some of the dark and satanic tones that Cruz has, and so…

WOODRUFF: What did you — let me just ask, what did you just say? (Laughter)

BROOKS: Well, if you go to a Cruz — if you watch a Cruz speech, it’s like, we have got this enemy, we have got that enemy, we’re going to stomp on this person, we’re going to crush that person, we’re going to destroy that person. It is an ugly world in Ted Cruz’s world. And it’s combative. And it’s angry, and it’s apocalyptic.”

CORN: “Well, actually, if you go to a speech from his dad, who is a pastor, evangelical, Rafael Cruz, it actually is satanic. (Laughter) He — I watched a speech in which he said Satan was behind the Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage. So, it’s not…

BROOKS: OK. Well, I withdraw the satanic from Ted Cruz.

CORN: You’re thinking that it’s political, but, sometimes, it’s literal.

BROOKS: Mephistophelian, maybe. (Laughter)  But it’s dark and combative, and, frankly, harsh. It’s a harsh — he gets some jokes in the beginning, but then it’s just, we have enemies. We’re in an apocalyptic situation. We’re on the edge of the abyss. You need a tough guy to beat that back. And that’s his personality. That’s not Marco Rubio’s personality. He’s a sunny — he’s been running the youthful optimism campaign, but he’s beginning, to prevent Cruz from getting liftoff, to mimic sort of that, get a piece of that. I personally think it’s a mistake, because inauthentic — inauthenticity almost never works. And so, if Cruz starts to go like — I mean, if Rubio starts to go like Cruz, he just doesn’t look like himself, and that bothers people.

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