Cruz is running for re-election, and yesterday, he put out a minute-long country jingle that mocks his opponent Beto O’Rourke (born Robert Francis O’Rourke) for the sin of going by a nickname.
One of the lyrics: “Liberal Robert wanted to fit in, so he changed his name to Beto and hid it with a grin.” Ha ha.
Cruz is attempting to paint O’Rourke’s use of the name “Beto” as a deceitful ploy to win the Latinx vote. (O’Rourke has maintained that his parents called him “Beto” from “day one.”) But there’s a minor issue with all this: TED CRUZ’S REAL NAME IS RAFAEL EDWARD CRUZ! “TED” IS A NICKNAME! Cruz’s childhood nickname was Felito until he started going by Ted at age 13. You might say he did that to...fit in!
Today, Cruz appeared on CNN to attempt to double down on his message and maybe clear things up. When asked point blank about why he decided to mock O’Rourke for the name when he also goes by a nickname, Cruz, uh, acknowledged that he had no leg to stand on. Via CNN:
“You’re absolutely right. My name is Rafael Edward Cruz,” Cruz acknowledged. “I am the son of my father Rafael Cruz, an immigrant from Cuba who came to Texas with nothing…”
“In terms of the jingle, some of it is just having a sense of humor,” Cruz said—a dubious claim, given that he is possibly the least humorous person who has ever existed in any society. He then went on to point out that everyone missed the real point of the song, breaking that one cardinal rule about explaining the joke.
O’Rourke later tweeted a childhood picture of him sporting a sweater that reads “Beto”:
It’s honestly pretty cool that Cruz is going out of his way to give Democrats alley-oops like this. Maybe reaching across the aisle really is positive.