Ted Cruz
(Image credit: Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Years before wowing tea party Republicans with his spirited assaults on big government, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was a ballyhooed speaker on the college debate circuit.

Known for his "arsenal of rhetorical skills and theatrical gestures," according to a New York Times feature on the 2016 candidate's college career, Cruz often excelled in competition. But for all his oratorical gifts, Cruz could still quite easily be derailed by a little unexpected levity.

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