Video: Cruz takes on Trump supporter in Indiana for seven minutes

At least I think it’s a Trump supporter. This guy comes off as more of a parody of a Trump supporter, unable to explain why he likes Trump except that he likes “the wall,” so who knows. Confrontation videos like this are always eye-of-the-beholder stuff, though, so Cruz fans will probably see it as a case of Cruz showing admirable patience in trying to reason with an opponent and Trump fans will probably see it as Sunglasses having dropped a sick burn on Lyin’ Ted, bro. Here’s a fun idea, though: Re-interview this guy a year from now after Trump has gone down in flames and President Hillary’s preparing to sign an amnesty bill that Chuck Schumer just ushered through a Democratic Senate. See what he thinks about the wall then.

Why Cruz would bother debating Trump fans, especially Trump fans who are heckling him, I don’t know. It’s like Hillary trying to turn Obama supporters with a few words on the rope line in 2008. That’s not the way cults of personality work and Cruz knows it. Jamie Weinstein thinks Cruz was going for some sort of viral confrontation on the eve of the vote, knowing that the media would end up giving his case here against Trump lots of free coverage tonight when they re-run this incident on the news. That seems too clever by half. Arguing with a Trumper, especially one who’s spoiling to get in Cruz’s face, was as likely to produce some sort of trainwreck scene of Trump fans chanting “GO BACK TO CANADA” as it was a long disquisition against Trump. I don’t think there’s anything more complex behind this than Cruz’s supreme confidence that he can out-debate anyone, even some dude in shades smirking at him and howling about his “Goldman Sachs jacket.” This is a guy who talked his way into a Senate seat at age 41 and who outlasted 15 other Republican presidential candidates in the primaries this year. If Donald won’t debate him, why shouldn’t he go toe-to-toe with a Trump fan for a few minutes? I think he missed an opportunity, though, in not trying harder to bait the guy. Imagine how much more viral this clip would have been if he had said, “So, what do you think we should do with the Muslims?”

My sympathy for Cruz runs only so far, though. He’s spent four years styling himself as Mr Populism. Here he is, eye-to-eye with it. You wanted a populist primary, Ted, you got it.

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