Should it be unfamiliar, the expression “to call someone out,” as used in the headline of this post, is schoolyardese for challenging someone to a fist fight.
That is what presidential hopeful Ted Cruz appears to have done yesterday during a photo op with reporters when he addressed remarks Barack Obama had made in Manila regarding GOP reactions to his plan to bring 10,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S. In his comments, Obama said, “I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL than some of the rhetoric coming out of here,” referring to the Republican camp.
But he wasn’t content to stop at being merely political and divisive. Obama went on to chide Cruz and company with this taunt:
And I would add these are the same folks who suggested they’re so tough that just talking to Putin or staring down ISIL [will work]. But they’re scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America as part of our tradition of compassion. First, they were worried the press was too tough on them in the debates; now they’re worried about 3-year old orphans. That doesn’t sound very tough to me.
Cruz evidently heard the gauntlet drop in that statement. Staring directly into the camera, he said:
If you want to insult me, you can do it overseas, you can do it in Turkey, you can do it in foreign countries. But I would encourage you, Mr. President, come back and insult me to my face.
Here’s the video.
A physical fight between Cruz and Obama might prove interesting. Obama, at 6′ 2″, has the distinct height advantage over Cruz, who is 5′ 8″. Yet, Cruz seems to be the scrappier of the two. Having seen Obama throw a baseball, I’d put my money on Cruz.