Curt Anderson, Politico - Occasionally, [Ted Cruz] offers a glimpse of his vanity and his need to be loved—such as the hilariously painful 15 hours of B-roll footage his campaign put on the Web for use by his super PACs. My favorite part of that footage is the multiple times he and his family practiced the prayer scene before a meal … once more, with feeling. There is nothing quite as genuine and humble as a rehearsed, made-for-TV prayer.
The other revealing scene is when Cruz is sitting on the couch with his mom and he says, “Not a day goes by that my mom is not lifting me up in prayer.” Then mom agrees saying, “It’s true.” But then, Cruz can’t help himself and he adds, “for hours at a time,” after which mom can’t take it anymore and very tellingly gives us a roll of the eyes that says it all.
My dad was a preacher for 40 years—a great one I might add. He gave me some sage advice: “Never trust a preacher who wears makeup.” There it is. Cruz is the televangelist candidate. (To be clear, not all televangelists are phony, just most of ’em.)
There is no denying that Cruz is a smart and gifted orator. But if you listen closely you will find that he sells everything with the exact same level of zeal. Whether he is condemning the Islamic State or ordering a ham sandwich, the invective is identical. When a speaker oversells everything, it calls everything he says into question, and it begs questions regarding authenticity and genuineness.
... Cruz will never tell you he made a mistake or changed his mind. We never see an authentic Cruz because we never see a vulnerable Cruz. He’s perfect—just ask him. He’s pure—just ask him.
Cruz’s view of himself was on full display in the CNBC debate in Colorado in October. All candidates were asked to show some vulnerability by sharing a few thoughts on their biggest weakness. Cruz answered first with a joke by saying, “I’m too agreeable, easygoing.” The crowd chuckled. So far, so good. But then Cruz got down to business, telling the watching nation about his biggest weakness—“You know, I think my biggest weakness is exactly the opposite. I’m a fighter. I am passionate about what I believe. I’ve been passionate my whole life about the Constitution.” There you have it. His biggest weakness is that he is wonderful. Oh, and in that 30-word riff, he managed to use the “I” word five times and “my” twice.