In the midst of an unexpectedly tight race to keep his Senate seat, Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that his opponent, Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX), would ban Texas barbecue if elected. Texans aren't sure if he was kidding.
At a Cruz campaign stop in Columbus, Texas, on Saturday, demonstrators from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals handed out tofu outside a restaurant where Cruz was speaking.
"I’ve got to say, they summed up the entire election," Cruz told the crowd inside. “If Texas elects a Democrat, they’re going to ban barbecue across the state.”
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The demonstration was in response to another attempted Cruz zinger last week. At a campaign stop in Humble, Texas, Cruz said, "Liberals desperately want to turn Texas blue. They want us to be just like California, right down to tofu and silicon and dyed hair.”
So the PETA protestors showed up to show Cruz "how delicious tofu can be."
Not mentioned: The potential effects of President Trump's tariffs, which are expected to hit American soybean farmers especially hard.
Some weren't sure if Cruz was joking.
Cruz's desperation is pathetic.— JackWBower (@Trumpet1984) September 18, 2018
He actually claimed that Beto wants to ban BBQ. I thought this was a joke until I looked it up.
What's his next desperate lie to appeal to Ted's caricature of a Texan? That Beto wants to ban armadillos, pickups and cowboy boots?#BetoForSenate
Cruz has found this campaign to be tougher going than previously. Not only is the youthful, social-media-friendly O'Rourke running within a few points of him in the polls, Cruz has seemed to lob one bum grenade after another.
A Cruz radio ad warning Texans against "electing a liberal man," in the form of a country song, drew jabs from late-night talk shows.
Another ad accused O'Rourke of adopting a Hispanic nickname to appeal to Texas voters. O'Rourke's campaign responded by tweeting a photo of O'Rourke as a preschooler, wearing a 'Beto' shirt. O'Rourke, 46, was given his nickname at the age of two.
Less whimsically: Cruz's re-election campaign mailed fundraising letters in envelopes marked "summons enclosed — open immediately," drawing criticism for potentially confusing people who might think they were in legal jeopardy. One Twitter user chastised Cruz for sending a letter addressed to his 88-year-old grandmother, who suffered from cognitive decline. "That's one more @BetoORourke voter," tweeted Sean Owen of Austin.