Slate Writer: Ted Cruz Is a ‘Passionate, Indefatigable Liar’ Who ‘Doesn’t Think Like a Normal Person’

Slate’s William Saletan has done a deep dive into Ted Cruz’s statements regarding the Senate’s 2013 debate on immigration reform. Saletan’s conclusion, to adapt a line from Seinfeld, is that Cruz’s shadiness is real, and it’s “spectacular.” He calls Cruz “a passionate, indefatigable liar” and alleges, “For him, truth isn’t a matter of plain meaning. It’s a matter of technicalities.”

In a 3,600-word Sunday article abounding in legislative and linguistic minutiae, Saletan contends that in 2013, Cruz “chose his words exquisitely so that down the road—say, in a future campaign for president—he could position himself on either side of the immigration debate” -- an approach, Saletan suggests, which undermines Cruz’s claim to be a true conservative.

From Saletan’s piece (bolding added):

[The immigration] fight didn’t happen the way [Cruz] says it did. Cruz didn’t marshal the opposition or even take a firm stand. He’s a lawyer, not a leader. He chose his words exquisitely so that down the road—say, in a future campaign for president—he could position himself on either side of the immigration debate. And he delivered, with angelic piety, speeches that he now claims were lies

I’ve studied nearly every word Cruz uttered during the immigration showdown…The timeline…shreds Cruz’s mythical account. But it also paints an unsparing portrait of how Cruz—who has now clawed his way to the front of the Republican presidential pack—thinks and operates…

…Again and again, Cruz chose language that implied an offer of legal status [for undocumented immigrants] but technically avoided responsibility for it…

Cruz doesn’t think like a normal person. He thinks like a lawyer. For him, truth isn’t a matter of plain meaning. It’s a matter of technicalities.

That’s why nobody can prove Cruz endorsed legalization in 2013. Like a crime scene without fingerprints, Cruz’s verbal record is a work of art…

…[Byron] York, [Robert] George, [Bret] Baier, [Greta] Van Susteren…aren’t stupid. They work in the thick of conservative politics. What confounds their ability to understand Cruz isn’t ideology or intelligence. It’s artifice. Normal people can’t sustain a façade of earnestness for months. Normal people don’t lecture others about good faith while lying and conspiring. To live a sane life, you have to assume that the people with whom you interact are, to some extent, real. York, George, Baier, and Van Susteren are normal. Cruz is not…

Cruz is a spectacular liar. If he wasn’t lying about his motives in 2013, he’s lying about them now…

We can’t know what Cruz really thought. And we don’t need to know. From the record assessed here, we’ve learned enough about him to decipher his words and predict his behavior. He’s a passionate, indefatigable liar. He speaks with the cadence of a preacher but the craft of a lawyer. When the time for choosing comes, he keeps his options open…

When you study Cruz this way, through the lens of history, his pretense of clarity dissolves.

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters