This is how not to engage a heckler. Sometimes it is better to walk away. As gracious as Ted is being and using this as a teaching moment, he can’t win this exchange.Hecklers are always hostile, although how you deal with them will depend on the type of heckler they are. For politicians it is a bit more complicated because a touch question posed by a person is not necessarily heckling, but you know the difference between the two when you see it.
Give this particular Trump heckler credit for his timing and verbal jabs (they are funny, even if completely unfair and hostile to Cruz). But that is how hecklers work. And to make it worse, the media then takes and edits this exchange and replays them out of context as sound bites.
Trump certainly has his flaws (and I am sure Team Hillary is looking to exploit many of them), but he generally knows how to take on the media. Ted never quite got it–a lot of his speeches and delivery worked against him. Ted’s speeches go way too long. His style is too preacher-ish. Ted can’t change who he is, but he can be way more effective a public speaker than how he has done. I do not think Ted Cruz in the long run is finished, he will be an important voice of opposition going forward, but he definitely should learn from his mistakes (so far) in this campaign.
Stand up comedians know how to take on hecklers. There are techniques they use (they face this threat all the time). Most importantly, they control the microphone and the forum.Now this is how you take on a heckler: