Yes, Megyn Kelly asked Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz a few tough questions last night but don’t be fooled into thinking that it was anything but a Megyn Moment orchestrated from above.
There has been something of a right-wing revolt against Fox News this week over its criticism of Senator Ted Cruz’ presidential run. Radio host Mark Levin accused Fox of “trashing” Cruz. PJ Media concurred, saying, “Fox isn’t conservative, but corporatist. …Cruz isn’t, Jeb is. So it’s a no-brainer for them.”
I hate to say this but I agree.
I first noted the faint praise for Cruz’s candidacy on Monday, when Fox covered his announcement. Since then, Fox’s Charles Krauthammer has slammed him, saying, “We already tried a first-term senator” and doubted Cruz’ ability to “walk the walk.” Greg Gutfeld made a birther joke about Cruz on The Five as he and cohost Kimberly Guilfoyle questioned whether Cruz wanted to be a leader or a Fox News contributor. Cohost Eric Bolling said it’s not Cruz’ time. FoxNews.com highlighted Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano’s criticisms in an article called: “Judge Nap: Here’s Where Ted Cruz Is NOT Following the Constitution.”
So why did Fox feel the need to give Cruz 10 minutes of prime time with Megyn Kelly last night after he got an hour-long infomercial (complete with presidential music) on Hannity the night before?
I posit that it was both an attempt to placate Cruz supporters with a big show of friendliness mixed with a few Megyn Moments of "questions" about his candidacy designed to go viral. At least, that was the result.
Kelly was a vision of Cruz chumminess. In her most “I’m having so much adorable fun” voice, she mockingly quoted Cruz’ critics: “Scary, dangerous and slimy!”
“Look, there’s nothing like the warm embrace of the mainstream media,” Cruz kidded back.
Kelly laughed appreciatively. She smiled broadly when Cruz joked about some New York Times criticism, “Holy cow, do I have to disclose that to the Federal Elections Commission?”
Cruz insisted there are “marked differences” between himself and "first-term senator" Obama.
But first, Kelly gratuitously noted they had both gone to Harvard.
Cruz called Obama “basically a backbencher” when he was in the senate who “did not lead on any issues of real significance.” Cruz, argued he’s tried to “lead on the great challenges of the day.”
But Cruz’ idea of “leading” amounted to “stopping ObamaCare,” “stopping the out of control debt,” “stopping executive amnesty,” “defending our Constitutional rights,” “standing with Israel” and “stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons.”
Cruz also said that unlike Obama, “I wasn’t a community organizer” before coming to the senate. But Obama was a state senator for seven years before he became a U.S. senator. Kelly did not correct Cruz’s falsehood. Cruz, on the other hand, was Texas’ solicitor general. He boasted about winning cases defending the 10 Commandments, the Pledge of Allegiance and gun rights.
“Yes, you’ve led the fight on certain issues,” Kelly acknowledged. “But what have you actually accomplished?” Bingo! Megyn Moment!
Cruz said his accomplishments are “stopping bad things from happening.” By that, he meant, “mobilizing and energizing the grassroots to stand up and protect the Second Amendment” from President Obama’s gun control legislation.
Kelly further challenged. “When you’re the president, you have to bring coalitions together. …You can’t just be somebody who stops things. You actually have to be somebody who gets things through,” she contended. Megyn Moment II.
Cruz replied, “You’ve got to do both.” But his only example of "accomplishment" was legislation blocking Hamid Abutalebi, an Iranian ambassador to the U.N., from coming into the U.S.
But Kelly didn’t challenge Cruz by noting that that was another “stoppage." Instead she resumed her “Aren’t I Adorable?” persona. “Not only that, but you can say, ‘Hamid Abutalebi,’ …you should get points for that, too!” Kelly quipped.
Kelly then apologetically brought up Rand Paul. “Paraphrasing” him she called Paul “the Ted Cruz who can win.” Then she cited a poll showing that Cruz is not electable.
I'll bet this is far from the last criticism of Cruz from Fox hosts we'll hear.
Kelly concluded the interview with Barbara Walters-like questions, asking Cruz what he likes best about himself and what he likes least.
You can watch his answers below, from last night’s The Kelly File.