Everything was going along swimmingly. The event was sold out as some 650 conservatives filled the joint - 250 more than Jeb Bush the week before.
The candidate arrived, poised for pictures with local volunteers as he stood there in his black cowboy boots.
Then it was onto a VIP reception where folks paid for their pictures, while those out in the hallway got theirs for nothing.
And then through the kitchen into the huge ballroom where he wowed them with his personal story, his jabs at President Obama and he hopes, his likely opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Anybody who has ever given a speech has a list of jokes that work, and since 2013 the jokes about V.P. Joe Biden were a sure crowd pleaser. Only problem was, Mr. Cruz forgot the context of the joke this time.
Mr. Biden and his family are in mourning the loss of their son to cancer.
It wasn't until after the audience laughter died down that the candidate found himself trapped in a Twitter nightmare as his critics denounced his lack of civility and sensitivity.
When reporters asked about the Biden joke, the candidate violated the first rule of TV news - i.e. never walk away.
He did. But he quickly regrouped and issued an apology via the Internet, which got him into trouble in the first place.
Lost in the shuffle was the fact that the candidate actually made real news that became irrelevant once the "joke" went viral.
Come to find out, the Texas Senator has no problems with guns in schools, noting that "gun owners should be able to carry guns and exercise their Second Amendment rights."
What about educators who claim kids are scared if they see a weapon in the school hallway?
Not to worry, the candidate suggests, because his data says when you have gun free zones, "that's where the criminals end up targeting."
Friends of GM and Chrylser may be unhappy to discover Mr. Cruz did not support the federal "bailout" that many believe saved the two auto makers.
He believes there were other ways to do it and "the federal government should not be engaged in bailouts."
And, finally, a first impression question he's never been asked before.
Are unions good for this country?
He looked upward for a moment and offered, "union members are a plus for this country." But union leaders?
Mr. Cruz contends not all of them are bad, but too many get involved in partisan politics.
Well, he wasn't going to get their votes anyway.