Cruz marginalized by CNN, says Levin
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Conservative radio host Mark LevinMark Reed LevinTrump wants To 'deescalate,' but will his supporters let him? CNN settles lawsuit with Covington Catholic student: report Rush Limbaugh renews radio contract with 'long-term' deal MORE said on Thursday that the GOP’s 2016 presidential debate moderators are muffling Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzJuan Williams: Counting the votes to remove Trump Sunday shows - All eyes on Senate impeachment trial Cruz: Hearing from witnesses could extend Senate trial to up to 8 weeks MORE (R-Texas).

“Twice now Ted Cruz was treated as a third-tier candidate,” Levin wrote on his Facebook page following the second televised contest for Republican White House hopefuls Wednesday night.

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“He received very little time and was rarely called on,” Levin said. “There appears to be a pattern in these debates to marginalize him.

“Unfortunately, given the nature of these debates, he needs to become more aggressive in pushing his way into discussions,” the broadcaster added.

Cruz clashed with 10 other GOP presidential candidates on Wednesday evening during a CNN television event airing from Simi Valley, Calif.

Levin argued the following morning that moderator Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperSteyer says 'grassroots organizing' in Nevada, South Carolina got him on debate stage Pentagon chief says he 'didn't see' intelligence suggesting Iran planned to attack four US embassies Ex-White House press, military officials call on Grisham to restart regular briefings MORE purposely limited the Texas lawmaker’s participation in the contest.

“When he tried to speak as a ‘skeptic’ during the discussion about global warming — where Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and Chris Christie apparently accepted the supposed ‘science’ of global warming — Jake Tapper rudely cut him off,” he said of Cruz’s response on that topic.

“When Cruz had about 60 uninterrupted seconds or so to address the Iran deal debacle, he was superb,” Levin said. “Same with the Supreme Court.”

Levin additionally charged that CNN poorly handled its broadcasting of the GOP’s second presidential debate Wednesday evening.

“CNN’s format was awful,” he said. “The entire effort was intended to instigate fights between and among the candidates.

“They wanted a brawl,” Levin said. “As I’ve been saying for a while, when will the [Republican National Committee] stop turning over the GOP debates to the media?

“I find these debate formats demeaning of the candidates and not particularly informative,” he added.

Cruz vowed he would rip President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Obama “to shreds” during his performance Wednesday night.

The Texas lawmaker also struck a warm tone with Donald Trump, the front-runner for next year’s Republican presidential coronation.

Trump ranks first out of 16 candidates in that race with 30.5 percent, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of national polls. Cruz, meanwhile, places fourth with 4.8 percent.  The senator has repeatedly promised he is not attacking his competition while on the 2016 campaign trail.