Following a campaign rally outside Nashville on Monday, Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz revealed the foolproof debate question he’d put to Hillary Clinton if the two individuals were to meet on the debate stage next year. The subject of his query? Not Benghazi or destroyed e-mail servers, but income inequality.
“Over the last six-and-a-half years, the rich have gotten richer and hard-working men and women across America have seen their lives get harder and harder,” Cruz said during an exclusive interview with The Federalist on his campaign bus. “The people who have been hurt the most are the most vulnerable. Young people, Hispanics, African-Americans, single moms.”
“We’ve seen for two terms now the big government policies you and Barack Obama advocate don’t work,” Cruz said before getting to the ultimate question for Hillary. “Why should anyone believe a third term of the same failed policies would produce anything different?”
A former college debate champion, Cruz expanded on how he thought Hillary might respond to his question, and how he might react to that response.
“I think she would respond with high level rhetoric about income inequality that would not address any of the substance,” Cruz told The Federalist. “And then I hope to come right back at her with: I emphatically agree income inequality is a tremendously important problem. That’s why it is such a compelling indictment of your record that it’s increased dramatically under your policies.”
Conspicuously missing from Cruz’s question and response were any mention of any of the various scandals dogging Hillary Clinton: nothing about deleted e-mails, mishandled classified information, Benghazi, or Planned Parenthood organ trafficking. The junior senator from Texas said those omissions were intentional.
“If one goes down the road of scandals with Hillary, it would consume more than a two-hour debate,” Cruz joked. “And frankly, the key to winning in 2016 is running a populist campaign of hard-working men and women against the bipartisan corruption of Washington, which Hillary embodies.”
Cruz, whose poll numbers surged into the double digits after last week’s first Republican primary debate, told The Federalist that 2016 is a grand opportunity for Republicans to invert the traditional media narrative that the GOP is rich and out of touch, while Democrats are the party of the working man.
“My dad came to America with nothing, washing dishes, making 50 cents an hour. When I was in high school, my parents went bankrupt,” Cruz said. In contrast, he noted, “Hillary and Bill Clinton have made hundreds of millions of dollars exploiting their government service.”
Cruz didn’t seem at all worried about Hillary’s power to drive the narrative in 2016. Why the confidence?
“Hillary Clinton hasn’t even driven a car since 1996.”