Politics & Government

Did Ted Cruz scare a 3-year-old girl? (Update)

Ted Cruz in a 2014 file photo.
Ted Cruz in a 2014 file photo. Star-Telegram archives

(UPDATED below)

Ted Cruz, the Republican senator from Texas, reportedly aroused some fear — or at least some worried questioning — in a 3-year-old girl at a New Hampshire event this weekend, according to The Washington Post and other outlets.

But Cruz, speaking to supporters in New Hampshire, bounced back quickly.

“At one point, Cruz spoke about the ‘Obama-Clinton foreign policy of leading from behind,’ and said the world is on fire,” says an item on the Post’s Post Politics blog. “A young girl in the crowd immediately said aloud, ‘The world is on fire?’ Cruz looked at the girl, Julie Trant, 3, who was sitting with her mother, Michelle. ‘Yes, the world is on fire,’ Cruz said. ‘Your world is on fire.’ He then told Julie that her mommy is here and that they are all trying to make the world better for her as the crowd applauded.”

You can hear the exchange in this clip, although you might have to crank up the volume a little to hear Julie’s question. It happens around the 30-second mark.

The Post’s report puts the exchange pretty deep, about 10 paragraphs down, and focuses more on Cruz’s efforts to drum up grassroots support and the crowd’s reaction to him. It also doesn’t say anything about Cruz shouting at, scaring or terrifying the little girl.

The New York Daily News, linking to the Post report, leads off with the exchange. It’s been posted on YouTube by so many people that it practically deserves its own page. Listening to the above clip, we’re not sure that “terrified” is the right word, but Julie does seem a little concerned about the fiery state of the world.

UPDATE: According to Julie’s mom, “terrified” isn’t the right word, and neither is “scared,” per a Politico post.

“Cruz did not scare her daughter, her mom Michelle said in an interview with WRKO Radio in Boston,” Politico reports.

“ ‘There was no tears,’ Trant said, telling the show she told her daughter that ‘Ted Cruz is the one that will put this fire out. And then she then looked at him as a hero.’ ”