During last night's Republican Presidential Debate, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz went OFF on CNBC for its questions to the candidates earlier in the debate.
Cruz derided the moderators for lacking in substantive questions ... ironically, as a non-answer to one of the more substantive questions of the evening.
It was clearly a premeditated move ripped from the playbook of Newt Gingrich in 2012, in which Gingrich deflected attention from a personal controversy.
Newt took CNN to task for grilling him about his ex-wife, earning thunderous applause and riding a wave of momentum to a primary win in South Carolina.
Cruz wasn't in the hot seat for any particular crises, but when asked a perfectly reasonable question about problem solving and the debt limit, went OFF.
Unlike Jeb Bush's hilariously failed hit on Marco Rubio, Cruz played right into the hands of his conservative base and achieved his desired result.
"Let me say something at the outset," Cruz said. "The questions asked in this debate illustrate why the American people don't trust the media."
"This is not a cage match. And you look at the questions ... Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do math?"
"John Kasich, will you insult two people over here? Marco Rubio, why don't you resign? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen?"
"How about talking about the substantive issues!"
Reminded that he did not answer the question, Cruz doubled down on the media and kept the attack going. "Let me be clear," Cruz said.
"The men and women on this stage have more ideas, more experience, more common sense, than any participant in the Democratic debate."
"Nobody believes that the moderators have any intention of voting in a Republican primary," Cruz said as the moderators tried to interject.
"The questions being asked shouldn't be trying to get people to tear into each other, it should be what are your substantive solutions to people at home."
Eventually, he was cut off, at which point he clashed with the CNBC panel further for not allowing him to answer the actual question.
Wild. All we can say is that Donald Trump won by shortening the debate ... otherwise, an actual cage fight might have broken out.