Texas Senator and Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz criticized fellow GOP candidate Donald Trump for vowing to skip on Fox News’ debate by saying, “Anyone scared of Megyn Kelly is not going to be able to stand up to Hillary Clinton or Vladimir Putin” and “[A]ny person who wants a job, who skips the job interview, I’ll tell you the answer they would get from their potential employer, and it is ‘You’re fired'” on Tuesday’s “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel.
Cruz said, “I think any candidate for president owes it to the voters to go and stand in front of them, to answer the hard questions. I mean, it’s a matter of basic respect to the men and women of Iowa. You know, we are in the middle of the completing what’s called the full Grassley. We will have gone to all 99 counties in Iowa, standing in front of the men and women of Iowa, answering their questions. This is a job interview, and if you want a job interview, the first thing to do to get the job is show up at the interview. And I think it’s really remarkable that Donald Trump thinks so little of the men and women of Iowa that he is willing to skip the debate altogether. He doesn’t think he should have any questions on his record, and it’s really quite astonishing that Donald is apparently so afraid of Megyn Kelly. Look, you know, journalists ask tough questions. That — this is — you know, I promise you, anyone who’s going to be president of the United States, if you’re afraid of Megyn Kelly, then you’re going to be afraid of Hillary Clinton, and you’re going to be afraid of Vladimir Putin. If you’re afraid to have anyone ask a question, that does not bode well for what kind of commander-in-chief you’d make.”
He added, “[T]he most important determination the voters are making is who is prepared to be commander-in-chief, who has the experience and knowledge and judgment and temperament and clarity of vision and strength of resolve to keep this country safe. We don’t need a president who wakes up one day sees his poll numbers dip and goes into a Twitter frenzy. we don’t need a president who is miffed at something that was said five months ago and storms out. You know, this is an effort, — you know, and the reality is, the reason Donald is doing this, I actually don’t think it’s because of Megyn. I think it’s because he’s afraid to defend his record, that he knows he can’t defend his record, and he’s trying to hide from the voters of Iowa, that he’s not willing to stand up and explain why he supports a [Democratic presidential candidate Senator] Bernie Sanders (I-VT)-style full-on socialized medicine, expanding Obamacare so the federal government is in charge of our healthcare. He can’t explain why today he supports taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. He can’t explain why he supported Obama’s stimulus plan, and he supported Obama’s TARP bailout of the big banks. He doesn’t want to answer those questions, so he refuses to show up.”
Cruz also stated, after re-iterating his challenge to debate Trump one-on-one, “[F]or anyone who is deciding between me and Donald, one candidate is here in Iowa asking for the support, is showing the humility to submit yourself to the voters to answer your questions, and the other is hiding from the voters, is hiding from any fair contest.” And “[A]nyone who agrees that Donald should not be ducking this debate should go to duckingdonald.com, a website we’ve set up to encourage Donald not to duck the debate, but stand up and show the respect to the men and women of Iowa that they deserve, and any person who wants a job, who skips the job interview, I’ll tell you the answer they would get from their potential employer, and it is ‘You’re fired.'”
Cruz concluded, “Look, if he doesn’t accept he’s telling the men and women of Iowa he’s not willing to defend his record. He can’t defend the record. He’s admitting that he cannot stand the scrutiny, and that means he’s not up to the job of being commander-in-chief. Anyone scared of Megyn Kelly is not going to be able to stand up to Hillary Clinton or Vladimir Putin.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett