The clear winner of the final Republican debate, just four days before the first votes are cast in Iowa, was the Macavity candidate.
Just like the mystery cat, Donald Trump was nowhere near the scene of the crime at the Fox News debate. You could find him on rival news channels, but the damage was already done to poor Ted Cruz: the only candidate who could come close to beating him in Iowa.
Donald Trump compares his rival campaign event to ‘the Academy Awards’
Cruz, standing exposed in the middle of the stage, was subject to a barrage of fire from the moderators and his rival candidates. And Trump didn’t have to do any of the dirty work himself.
At first, Cruz’s Olympic-sized debate skills allowed him to shape the debate. When Fox’s Megyn Kelly asked a tough question about why he flip-flopped on his feelings towards Trump (he used to praise him but now suggests he’s a closet Democrat) Cruz chose to answer a completely different one.