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The two candidates were asked to say something they’ve done in the past year “that has nothing to do with politics” that would give voters an idea of who they were as “a person.”
Cruz was asked to answer first, and as HuffPost points out, he took an awkward pause before exhaling.
Not exactly the best response to an easy question.
The senator finally answered the question by talking about spending time away from his family while serving as a member of Congress, using an anecdote about coaching his daughter’s basketball team.
O’Rourke also spoke about his family.
The awkward pause from Cruz, however, caught the attention of some people online.
“What’s something this year that you’ve done?”— Zendra Morales 🏳️🌈 (@ZendyWalkWithMe) October 17, 2018
Ted Cruz: *long pause* “it’s hard to be a dad”
I just want to curl up and take a nap inside Ted Cruz’s five-second pause trying to think of a personal anecdote to share. #Texasdebate— Kevin Miller (@happywaffle) October 17, 2018
#texasdebate Nice long pause Ted. A real pity party.— ashley (@secnav77) October 17, 2018
The debate between the Republican senator and O’Rourke comes at an important time for the campaigns. The race is one of the most-watched in the country, but recent polls show Cruz pulling ahead of O’Rourke—despite the Democrat’s enormous fundraising edge.
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).