There’s been a recent hubbub about the way in which Marco Rubio answered a gay marriage question posed to him by Jorge Ramos. “Would you attend a gay wedding?” Rubio answered in the affirmative, but his answer is irrelevant. What is relevant is why the media—in the face of the monumental problems facing the United States—would ask such an asinine question. There’s a simple answer: the gay marriage question a gotcha question, designed to tarnish candidates.
The media needs Republicans to look like bigoted, mean, closed-minded, hateful, stupid cretins. The best way to accomplish this is to ask an irrelevant question, then turn their answer against them. If a candidate says “Yes, I would,” their base will be upset, and if a candidate says “No, I would not,” the media can play that out to make them look bigoted. The masses will follow.
When the gay marriage question was posed to Ted Cruz, rather than do what other candidates have done—answer affirmatively or negatively—he changed the conversation. Some conservatives have called it a dodge, but I don’t see it that way. I see Cruz’s answer as a deft way to say “screw you” to the media, while making his views clear regarding states rights, marriage, and executive and judicial overreach.
To be fair, Hugh Hewitt asked Cruz the question in context—not a liberal.
Hewitt: “What matters more? Knowing if a candidate for the presidency will attend a gay wedding, or whether he or she will destroy the Islamic State before it throws hundreds if not thousands of more gay men to their deaths from towers. What matters more knowing?”
Cruz: “There’s no doubt the latter does, but it’s part of the gotcha game the mainstream media plays, where they come after Republicans on every front—and it’s designed to caricature Republicans, to make them look stupid or evil or crazy or extreme…the mainstream media are the praetorian guard protecting the Obama presidency, and there’s no group on this planet more ready for Hillary…”
Hewitt: “Having put it in the context, now I want to ask the question that was asked to Senator Rubio. If you have a loved one or friend getting married in a same-sex wedding, would you attend it?”
Cruz: “Well, I will tell you I haven’t faced that circumstance; I have not had a loved one have a gay wedding…the media tries to twist the question of marriage into a battle of emotions and personalities…’Gosh, any conservative must hate people who are gay!’ As you know, that has nothing to do with the operative legal question…
I’m a Christian, and Scripture commands us to love everyone, and all of us are sinners. But the legal question—I’m a constitutionalist—and under the Constitution, from the beginning of this country, marriage has been a question for the states. It has been a question for elected legislatures in each of the 50 states…
What we’ve seen in recent years from the left is the federal government and unelected federal judges imposing their own policy preferences to tear down the marriage laws of the states. So if someone is running for public office, it is perfectly legitimate to ask them their views on whether they’re willing to defend the Constitution, which leaves marriage to the states, or whether they want to impose their own extreme policy views like some on the left are doing—like Barack Obama does, like Hillary Clinton does.”
Hewitt essentially asked Cruz his opinion about the question, rather than the question itself. As such, Cruz answered in such a way as to give his opinion about marriage and states rights, while simultaneously calling out the media for even asking such a ridiculous question.
And to be fair, the question is ludicrous. Regardless of your personal answer as a Christian, it is indeed a personal question, the answer to which has absolutely zero bearing on one’s ability to lead the free world—and Cruz knows that. Other questions in that vein do have relevance to the political conversation, but whether or not one would attend a gay wedding does not.
Cruz took what could have been typical, and turned it into something germane to the actual argument at hand, which is the legalization of same-sex marriage, and how it applies in the context of the constitution. He also used it as an opportunity to condemn both executive and judicial overreach. A basic gotcha question turned into a complex analysis.
Cruz has a history of subverting preposterous questions posed to him by liberal journalists. He has an ability to take an irrelevant question and turn it on its head to make a larger—and often more pertinent—point. This skill is why Cruz has been able to survive and even excel in a media landscape that is not only unfriendly to conservatives, but intentionally poisonous.
Ted Cruz is a man of principle, and one who has a thorough understanding of what matters. He knows what’s important regarding leadership and his vision is outside the scope of typical political gamesmanship.
Don’t be so quick to dismiss Cruz because of an answer you didn’t prefer. He is a mix of principle and savvy unlike anything that’s been seen before in politics.
I guess what I’m saying is, have faith. Ted Cruz has proven himself time and time again, and his capacity to take asinine questions and make them pertinent to situations of leadership is extraordinary.