The great feud between Donald Trump, the real estate tycoon and media personality who is running for president, and Megyn Kelly, the Fox News host, has already entertained and shocked the American people. Trump is still seething that Kelly asked him about his tendency to rhetorically abuse women he doesn’t like, and he proved her point by abusing the Fox News interviewer by calling her a “bimbo” and other names. Tuesday, Kelly had another presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on her show. She asked him whether he was willing to deport American citizen children of illegal aliens along with their parents, according to Fox News Insider. Cruz’s reaction was a little bit different than Trump’s.
The question was one that was known as a “gotcha” in that no matter how the person being asked responded, he or she would be embarrassed. The question surrounded the issue of birthright citizenship, the concept enshrined, so many believe, by the 14th Amendment that everyone born in the United States is a citizen, no matter is his or her parents are legally in the country or not, The concept has complicated the idea of mass deportations, which Donald Trump has advocated, since one either splits up families or one deports people who are legally American.
Cruz responded to the question by employing an old politician’s trick by not answering the question that was asked, but rather answering the question that he wanted to be asked. Breitbart’s Big Government details the exchange that followed.
“He responded, ‘So, Megyn, what I’ve said is that we should approach immigration in a staged manner. We should start with focusing on areas of bipartisan agreement. Where is there bipartisan agreement? On two major areas. Number one, that we should do everything possible to secure the border and stop illegal immigration. And number two, to improve and streamline legal immigration.’
“Kelly then cut in, ‘that doesn’t sound like an answer. Mr. Trump answered that question explicitly last night on ‘The O’Reilly Factor.’ Will you do so now?’ Cruz stated, ‘Well, Megyn, what I’m doing is answering what I think Congress should do. What Congress should do, and I introduced legislation to do exactly this, triple the Border Patrol. Increase fourfold the fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft to monitor the border, put in place a strong biometic exit/entry system, because 40% of illegal immigration doesn’t come across the border, it’s visa overstays. Put in place a strong E-Verify system. And then this final piece is critical, actually have the federal government enforce the law.’
“Kelly again cut in, ‘Senator, I understand all that, and you’ve outlined your plan, but you’re — unlike you, you’re dodging my question. You don’t want to answer that question. He says he would.’ Cruz protested, ‘I’m not playing that game.’
“After Kelly again asked whether the American citizen children of illegal immigrants would be deported under his policy, Cruz answered, ‘Megyn, I get that that’s the question you want to ask, that’s also the question every mainstream media liberal journalist wants to ask. They focus exclusively –.’ Kelly then asked if such a question was ‘unfair.’ Cruz maintained it’s ‘a distraction from how we actually solve the problem. You know, it’s also the question Barack Obama wants to focus on.’
“Kelly asked why it was ‘so hard’ for Cruz to give a yes or no answer. Cruz stated, ‘Because, Megyn, we need to solve the problem. And the way you solve the problem, is you focus where there’s bipartisan agreement first. Once we’ve secured the border, once we’ve actually proven we can do this, once we’ve stop the Obama administration’s policy of releasing 104,000 violent criminal illegal aliens in one year, once we’ve solved that problem, then we can have a debate, then we can have a conversation.’”
Cruz never answered the question put to him. Instead, he managed to deliver a long discourse on how he would approach the issue of illegal immigration, positioning himself as being tough but at the same time more reasonable and less simplistic than Donald Trump. The tactic is called “triangulation,” pioneered by President Bill Clinton. Cruz positioned himself between people like Jeb Bush, who has been accused of favoring amnesty for illegal aliens, and Trump, who wants everyone thrown out of the country.
Cruz also got in some gentle jabs at Kelly, suggesting that the Fox News host was asking the question “every mainstream media liberal journalist wants to ask” and that “Barack Obama wants to focus on.” The zinger suggested that Kelly was being a mainstream media liberal who was supporting President Obama. Cruz was far more devastating that Trump, who had behaved like an affronted middle school boy. At the same time, he maintained a calm, gentlemanly demeanor. In effect, he showed Trump and the viewing public how these things are done.