Politics & Government

ICYMI: Ted Cruz talks ‘fire’ moment with Seth Meyers

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz chats with Seth Meyers (back to camera) on NBC’s Late Night With Seth Meyers
Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz chats with Seth Meyers (back to camera) on NBC’s Late Night With Seth Meyers NBC

On the same day that Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz took some heat for remarking “Your world is on fire” at a New Hampshire event, Cruz got to set things straight on NBC’s Late Night With Seth Meyers.

To recap: The Washington Post reported on Monday about Cruz speaking to supporters in New Hampshire. Several paragraphs into that report is this paragraph:

“At one point, Cruz spoke about the ‘Obama-Clinton foreign policy of leading from behind,’ and said the world is on fire. 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.”

The Post didn’t say anything about Cruz shouting at, scaring or terrifying the little girl. The New York Daily News linked to the Post item, leading off with the “fire” exchange and saying that the little girl was scared by Cruz’s fiery rhetoric.

Several YouTube videos were posted of the exchange, many of them saying that Cruz “shouted” at or “terrified” the little girl, when her reaction is actually kind of funny.

“In the last 24 hours,” Cruz told Meyers on Monday night’s show, “there have been 50 media stories that say ‘Cruz terrifies little girl.’ By the end of it, I was Freddy Krueger, I had the fingernails, it was terrible.”

The original Star-Telegram headline said “Ted Cruz’s fiery rhetoric scares 3-year-old girl” but was updated later in the day to “Did Ted Cruz scare a 3-year-old girl?” after Michelle Trant said in an interview with WRKO Radio in Boston that Cruz did not scare her daughter.

“ ‘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 looked at him as a hero.’ ”

Cruz told Meyers something similar. “The next line that occurs after [’your world is on fire’], I said, ‘But your mommy is here, and together, we’re going to put it out.”

Meyers preceded Cruz’s comments by saying, “I think the important lesson there is you just realize kids are terrible with metaphors.”

Meyers, a New Hampshire native, and Cruz talked about the Granite State’s importance in presidential politics, and Meyers steered the “fire” comment into a brief discussion of global warming, on which Meyers and Cruz don’t agree. Watch the approximately five-minute segment below.

H/T to Time.com.