The New York Times dug up some priceless anecdotes from Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) college debating career in a story published Tuesday, from a poorly received joke about regenerating hymen to his affinity for the “Les Misérables” soundtrack.
The newspaper spoke with several of Cruz’s rival debaters who said that the presidential candidate was a powerful speaker that could be undercut by humor. He would “unravel” when competitors deployed humor against him, according to former Yale debater Austan Goolsbee (an economist who later served on President Obama’s cabinet).
Cruz also fared poorly when he made jokes himself. From the Times report:
Mr. Cruz’s own attempts at humor sometimes missed the mark. In one debate, he proposed a method to detect infidelity, in which God should “give women a hymen that grows back every time she has intercourse with a different guy, because that will be a ‘visible sign’ of the breach of trust,” according to a recollection by David Kennedy published in a Harvard debate team reunion booklet in 2001.
Mr. Kennedy’s debate partner mocked Mr. Cruz’s knowledge of the subject matter by contorting herself to see how the anatomy in question could be “visible,” according to the booklet.
In another debate against Amherst College, the opposing team argued that Ricky Ricardo of “I Love Lucy” fame should have let Lucille Ball’s character work. Cruz responded “Well, guess what, I’m Cuban! And no self-respecting Cuban man of the era would let his wife work,” according to the Times.
Read the whole thing here.