The interview is barely an interview at all -- Miller mostly expresses his amazement at Cruz's success in the race, while the candidate regurgitates his Wisconsin victory speech, which was clearly geared to the general election. Here's how the interview starts:
One of the things we’ve noticed going back to your speeches of the past few months is that you used to have this line where conservatives are coming together, and now it seems to be a lot of Republicans coming together. It seems you’d be the unlikely person for that to happen around. How do you see that happening?It's all like that. It's Cruz uttering empty platitudes like this:
Well, that was always our approach from the beginning. If you look to the speech where we announced the campaign at Liberty University, it focused on bringing Americans together behind shared values.
Behind a shared desire for jobs and economic opportunity and rising wages. Behind a passion for the Constitution and Bill of Rights and protecting the fundamental liberties of every American.
And behind the desire to keep America safe and secure, to stand with our friends and allies and to stand up against our enemies. And those are values that naturally unite us.
They cut across ideological lines, they cut across racial and ethnic lines, gender lines, socioeconomic lines and even party lines. From the beginning our objective was to reunite the old Reagan coalition to bring together Republicans and Independents and Libertarians, and Reagan Democrats. And I think we’re seeing that happening more and more.
I’ve said many times, the biggest divide we have politically is not between Republicans and Democrats. It is between career politicians in Washington in both parties, and the American people.And this:
What I’ve tried to do every day in the Senate, and what I intend to do as President is fight for the working men and women of this country. And not for the special interests in Washington.And this:
I try to think of every policy from the perspective of my dad.Miller never points out that the top marginal tax rate in 1957 was 91%, more than twice what it is now. But Miller never challenges Cruz at all. There are no questions about Cruz's proposal to carpet-bomb ISIS strongholds even if large numbers of civilians are killed. There are no questions about Cruz's support for waterboarding. There are no questions about Cruz's support for a ban on abortion without an exception for rape or incest. There are no questions about Cruz's assertion that legalization of same-sex marriage represents a cultuiral "crisis." There are no questions about Cruz's tax plan, which would blow an $8.6 trillion hole in the federal budget and give taxpayers making more than $3.7 million a year an average tax break of $2 million.
When he was a teenage immigrant in 1957, when he fled Cuba after being imprisoned and tortured. And he was washing dishes at 50¢ an hour. How would a particular policy have impacted my dad?
And so I’ve often observed, if my dad were still washing dishes today, the odds are quite high he would have lost his job or never been hired, because of the incredible burdens of taxes and regulations on small businesses.
There isn't even a question about the government shutdown Cruz engineered. Nope, all the questions are like this:
The last two and a half years in Washington you’ve been getting the question, maybe more times than you can count, “Why does everyone hate you?” Now I guess the question is, “Why does everyone like you?”And this:
You called many of the people in Washington the cartel, locusts. You’re not building bridges to them, you’re going after their voters -- would that be the better way of describing it?"Learning to Love Ted Cruz," Michael Scherer's cover story, is a bit more skeptical -- but it's all about how Cruz is recalibrating his focus now that he's gone from purist Senate pariah to possible presidential nominee. Scherer, for instance, doesn't say a word about carpet-bombing or torture -- instead, he describes Cruz's professed wish to find out if “sand can glow in the dark” in the Middle East as one of the "bold positions" whose "packaging has been muted" as Cruz pivots to the general election.
If Cruz really does slip into all-platitude mode for the general election, while nodding and winking to his feral base, can he beat Hillary Clinton? He's already within 3 points of Clinton. Sure he can. Watch out for this guy.