The Corner

Politics & Policy

Krauthammer’s Take: Cruz Will Struggle Explaining Last Night’s Denial He Pushed Legalization

Sen. Ted Cruz may have won his immigration skirmish with Sen. Marco Rubio in last night’s debate, but the tactic he used will get him into bigger trouble down the road, Charles Krauthammer argued tonight.

 ”The Rubio/Cruz match last night was the highlight of the evening,” Krauthammer said on Wednesday’s Special Report.

“But what’s so interesting is what it led to today,” he continued. ”Rubio was willing to take a hit on an issue he knows he is the least popular with, with the GOP electorate. But he did it in order to be able to ask one question of Cruz — which is always a danger in the debate — as, A, you’re giving up your time; and B, you have no idea what he’s going to say. But what he elicited from Cruz was the statement that he had never supported legalization.”

Earlier in the show host Bret Baier interviewed Cruz about his once sponsoring an amendment providing illegal immigrations a pathway to legalization.

“He pretends now that he did that in order to kill the bill,” Krauthammer said. “But it’s clear from the record that he said at the time, repeatedly, and not even in Congress, but even in the meeting at Princeton with one of his old professors, Robbie George, that he wanted to pass the bill but wanted instead of citizenship, legalization.”

Krauthammer predicted this will get Cruz into trouble down the road: ”The fact that he said he never supported it is not a defensible position and that was exposed today. So that was a very complicated chess match between the two. Cruz had the better of it last night. But now he stuck with something he’s going to have to explain away that is not very easy.”

Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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