Charles Krauthammer, George Will disagree over who won Cruz-Trump 'cage match'

George Will, Charles Krauthammer disagree over who won Cruz-Trump "cage match"
(Image credit: Special Report)

The latest Fox News poll of Iowa voters shows Donald Trump opening up a commanding lead over Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), 34 percent to 23 percent, with both candidates essentially tied among white evangelical Christians. On Fox News Special Report Monday night, Bret Baier asked his panel — Juan Williams, Charles Krauthammer, and George Will — what they thought about this 11-point swing in Trump's favor. Williams said he will believe it when Trump's first-time caucus-goers show up at the school gym on a cold Iowa night to caucus for Trump. Krauthammer all but declared the Iowa race for Trump.

"These numbers — assuming they're true, assuming they hold for another week — show that the big cage match that began with the last debate between Trump and Cruz has been won by Trump," Krauthammer said. The consensus after the debate was that Cruz won, he added, "but I thought it was obvious that there was one single exchange that was the important one, the one on 'New York values.' Trump played the 9/11 card and left Cruz speechless — which is a spectacle that's rarely seen." Trump's questioning of Cruz's Canadian birth also "seems to have worked and put Cruz on the defensive," Krauthammer said.

George Will had a counterintuitive take: "I suspect that Cruz's polling indicates that the 'New York values' exchange actually helped him outside New York, which is where it matters, because we just saw the ad where he doubles down on that by saying 'Donald Trump, New York values.'" Krauthammer stepped in: "But if it helped him, how come he lost 14 points?" "I don't know," Will said, suggesting maybe Cruz's opposition to ethanol was to blame. Watch the entire exchange below. Peter Weber

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