American political satirist Andy Borowitz's response to recent Republican Party debate of presidential candidates put it best: "Chilling video terrifies the nation," was his headline, which went to explain that "the video, which was broadcast nationally on CNN, appeared to show nine extremists glaring into the camera and making a series of escalating threats." Indeed, the Republican party's political primary has at times seemed like a competition to find the most unhinged, bigoted, trigger-happy person willing to run for political office. Which makes Wednesday's reference to Indian Muslims positively shocking.

Texas senator Ted Cruz, who has recently been rising in the opinion polls, decided to respond to frontrunner Donald Trump's plan to bar all Muslims from entering the United States. "There are millions of peaceful Muslims across the world in countries like India where there is not the problems we are seeing in nations... that have territory controlled by Al Qaeda or ISIS and we should direct at the problem, focus on the problem, and defeat radical Islamic terrorism. It's not a war on a faith, it's a war on a political and theocratic ideology that seeks to murder us."

Now it's not hard to seem reasonable in a race that features Donald Trump, whose recent remarks have started to inspire serious comparisons to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. But Cruz's remarks go even further, because they acknowledge the fact that there are moderate Muslims out in the world, something the Republican party rarely seems to actually believe.

But while Cruz's remarks will earn him some coverage in India and permit the senator to position himself as the more establishment choice who is much more acceptable than Trump, it's no time to celebrate either the candidate or the Republican race. For one, Trump remains the leader, long after most analysts and his opponents expected him to still be around. For another, Cruz himself isn't exactly the model open-minded candidate who would be easily accepted by global watchers.

After all, Cruz began his response to Trump by saying that he understood why someone would propose a ban on all Muslims coming to America. Cruz also happens to be the one who introduced legislation banning Muslims refugees, but permitting Christian ones, because according to him “there is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror.”

As William Saletan puts it on Slate, "[Cruz] is repositioning himself, accordingly, as a statesmanlike alternative to Donald Trump," and he's doing this by "tapping into the same resentments Trump exploits—anti-immigrant, anti-Islam, anti-black—without doing it quite so crudely."