Sen #Ted Cruz, R-Texas, the Republican nominee for president, met former Secretary of State #Hillary Clinton in the first presidential debate and proved why he won awards as a debater when he was in college. By every measure, he won the contest played out before an audience of 100 million plus people. Clinton came at her Republican opponent with her prepared talking points, which Cruz disposed of adroitly.

The most memorable part of the debate occurred when Clinton accused Cruz of favoring “trickle-down economics” which has “failed every time it has been tried.” Cruz, a smile on his face, replied, “Your side has been using that buzz phrase for decades. Your problem, Ms. Clinton, is that you support trickle down government, taking money from the job creators, giving it to the bureaucrats, who then dole it out to your cronies and interest groups. It’s sad, really. Democrats used to believe in letting people keep more of their money, as when President John. F. Kennedy proposed an across the board tax cut in the 1960s. President Reagan enacted that kind of tax cut and created two decades of prosperity. President Obama raised taxes and has stifled American job creation and economic growth.”

Clinton fared no better when the subject turned to foreign policy. When Clinton boasted how the Iran nuclear arms deal had ensured peace, Cruz shot back, “Peace in our time, you mean. The deal is a sham, a modern-day Munich that will allow the mad mullahs of Iran to develop nuclear weapons clandestinely and threaten hundreds of millions of people in Israel and this country.”

Cruz continued to hammer Clinton about the email server scandal, noting that an Iranian nuclear scientist named Shahram Amiri, who had been mentioned in one of her emails, had been executed as a spy by the Iranian government. “His blood, with all due respect, is on your hands.” 

Most of the media analyses gave the debate to Cruz, though noting that the results hardly mattered as Cruz has already opened a substantial lead in the polls after the two national conventions. The Real Clear Politics average puts Cruz at nine points ahead of Clinton.

While Clinton supporters tried to paint Cruz as “overbearing” and “disrespectful” the one out of the box reaction came on the Sean Hannity show when the Fox News host interviewed Donald Trump, a real estate tycoon and reality show star who briefly toyed with running for president before deciding to stay in the private sector. “I don’t think my friend Ted did very well at all,” Trump observed. “I always say never beat up on the girl. He beat up on Hillary pretty badly, and I think she is going to get a lot of sympathy. I would have done things differently, let me tell you.”   #Alternatehistory