Ted Cruz addressed the Republican National Convention in prime time Tuesday night, but you probably didn’t see him speaking on TV.
Cruz, the GOP’s candidate for outgoing U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison seat, spoke directly on the heels of Rick Santorum, and the the major cable news networks—CNN, Fox, and MSNBC—didn’t air his twelve-minute speech, instead opting to unpack the former Pennsylvania senator’s speech. (CSPAN and PBS did air his speech.) CNN briefly interviewed U.S. Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire) before cutting to a livefeed of a wet, windswept Anderson Cooper standing before a camera in New Orleans.
Throughout his speech, Cruz “appealed directly to Hispanics and portrayed his smashing primary victory as part of a ‘great awakening of American voters,” the Texas Tribune‘s Jay Root wrote. “Cruz, who has said he’s not a fluent Spanish speaker, ably dropped a little of his Cuban father’s native language into his remarks and made the case that President Obama was playing racial politics.”
“Unfortunately, President Obama’s campaign is trying to divide America — separating us all into groups,” Cruz said, “telling seniors that Medicare will be taken away; Hispanics, that we’re not welcome here; and sending the vice president to preach a message of division. It’s tragic, how far we’ve come from hope and change.”
Many noted that Cruz, who was speaking sans podium, was strutting around the stage like a televangelist. “Of all the new faces that represent the party’s future, Ted Cruz stood out, with a performance that was part Clarence Darrow and part Billy Graham — a startling, moving, polished speech,” gushed David McCumber of the Houston Chronicle.
From the way he’s pivoting and walking around the stage sans podium, Cruz seems to be channeling Joel Osteen.
— Abby Rapoport (@RaRapoport) August 29, 2012
Ted Cruz really has the televangelist strut down pat.
— Chris Wilson (@chriswilsondc) August 29, 2012
Cruz has gotten flack for an insensitive crack about Hurricane Isaac he made while speaking to the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Tampa on Sunday: “We have so many things to be thankful for, so many blessings. Including, even, Hurricane Isaac. If nothing else, it kept Joe Biden away,” he said. (The Vice President scuttled plans to appear at a Democratic event in Tampa during the RNC due to the storm.)