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CNN’s Anderson Cooper challenged Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz during Tuesday’s town hall over the candidate’s assertion that the media has given rival Donald Trump huge amounts of free air time, pointing out that Cruz has “declined every offer” to appear on his show.
Cooper began by noting that Cruz “seemed to make a political calculation” early on to not go after Trump. He reminded Cruz that he called the real estate tycoon “terrific” on Twitter back in December after Trump had gone after Fox News host Megyn Kelly and had made the disparaging comment about his then rival Carly Fiorina’s face.
“At that point in December, did you really believe that Donald Trump was terrific?” he asked.
Avoiding the question, Cruz complained that the media “was engaged in a love-fest, giving Donald Trump $2 billion in free media.”
“It sounds like you were engaged in a love-fest, though,” Cooper fired back.
Cruz doubled down on his point about free airtime, prompting Cooper to offer a reality check.
“Let’s be clear. How many hours of free media does CNN and Fox and every other station … You let him call in and for a year, he got $2 billion in free media,” the candidate said.
“We’ve asked you for interviews pretty much every day. And you’ve declined every offer on my program,” Cooper interjected. “So you can come on anytime.”
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