WASHINGTON–If you were a college debater in the early ’90s, Ted Cruz was probably the last person you wanted to see on the other side of the stage.
It’s still easy to see why more than 20 years later. Since then, Cruz has gone from arguing cases in front of the Supreme Court to excoriating his party leader on the Senate floor with soaring rhetoric and penchant for the dramatic.
Cruz had a chance to channel that on Thursday during the first Republican primary debate. Expectations were high for the college debate champion–but the senator did little to set them.
“Different candidates are going to enter the debate with different objectives,” said Cruz to Capitol reporters two weeks before the debate. He said the night was but one opportunity for him to relay his message.
“Some candidates will go in there, unfortunately, hoping to tear down other candidates,” said Cruz. “Yet other candidates may go into the debate hoping to sail above the fray.”