Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Debate recap: Sadler calls Cruz a “troll”
It was at times reminiscent of an internet flame war.
DALLAS It was a debate between two lawyers, and it often felt like one.
More often, it was Sadler furiously trying to pin down Cruz on a single yes-or-no question such as whether Cruz believed Obama was a Christian or was born in the United States. Sadler would repeatedly cut Cruz off mid-sentence if Cruz didn't begin his response with "yes" or "no." Each time, Cruz survived the interrogation without giving Sadler the information that he wanted. (When pressed by reporters afterward, Cruz refused to say his views on Obama’s religion or place of birth and said he was focused on "the issues.")
The exchanges often veered wildly off topic, prompting WFAA news reporter Brad Watson and Dallas Morning News reporter Gromer Jeffers Jr. to push the candidates back on track. Questions on illegal immigration and health care turned into arguments about whether Sadler supports the Second Amendment or whom Cruz planned to back for majority whip in the U.S. Senate. Cruz accused Sadler of “hectoring.” Sadler accused Cruz of “lecturing.”
Near the end, Cruz pressed Sadler on whether he ever supported a state income tax. Sadler said he didn’t but then noted that he had to consider every possible way to raise state revenue when he was a key member of the House focused on the budget. Sadler added that he didn’t ever expect “some troll” to use that legislative work against him years later.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Sadler, you believe I’m a troll,” Cruz said.
Cruz is a former Texas solicitor general and has become a national conservative star since defeating Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in a July primary runoff for the Republican nomination.
Sadler, a former state representative from Henderson, has been stressing his experience in government on the campaign trail while dismissing Cruz as a right-wing extremist.
Both candidates have also agreed to a second televised debate on October 19 hosted by Dallas-area PBS affiliate KERA-TV. The Texas Tribune is a partner in that event.
Pegasus News Content partner - The Texas Tribune