It has become fairly evident in recent months, that the upcoming 2018 midterm elections may be more difficult for Republican candidates that they first imagined. With a wide array of special elections, many of which in heavily-dominated GOP districts, having gone in favor of Democratic candidates, it is clear that Republicans are now feeling the consequences of what a Trump administration has done for their credibility. Among one of the more prominent Republican representatives that is clearly feeling the heat is that of former presidential hopeful, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who is being challenged for his seat by three-term Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX).
Cruz released a radio ad which he also posted to his Twitter account, which features a 60-second song which, inherently, seems to be about his challenger. Despite the attempt at a catchy tune, the song is actually quite comical, but in a somewhat pitiful way. The lyrics claim things such as “if you want to run in Texas, you can’t be a liberal man,” as well as attacking O’Rourke and other Democrats for wanting to take Texans’ guns away.
FIRST LISTEN: our new 60-second statewide radio ad introducing our liberal opponent, Congressman Robert O’Rourke, to Texas voters.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 7, 2018
Furthermore, one of the lines specifically references O’Rourke, claiming that his true name is Robert and that the only reason he changed it to Beto was in order to gain more popularity among progressive voters in the upcoming elections. However, O’Rourke was evidently prepared for the criticism from Cruz, firing back at the radio ad in an all but subtle manner.
The Democratic congressman took to Twitter, posting a photo of himself as a child, wearing a sweater that very blatantly has the name “Beto” written across the front. O’Rourke further increased the impact of his post by leaving the caption section completely blank, letting Cruz know that he is dabbling in dangerous waters, and giving voters a clear understanding that his name is not a means of pandering to voters.
To make matters even more awkward for Cruz, when appearing on CNN with host Chris Cuomo, Cuomo immediately began a line of questioning about why Cruz would knowingly call out O’Rourke for using a nickname when he clearly understood that Robert was his real name.
Chris Cuomo asks Sen. Ted Cruz why he’s criticizing his Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke for going by the childhood nickname ‘Beto’ when Cruz’s real name is actually Rafael: “You’re absolutely right. My name is Rafael Edward Cruz.” https://t.co/tkyhJy6DXk pic.twitter.com/l90lFsvNjf
— CNN (@CNN) March 7, 2018
Furthermore, Cuomo opened up old wounds by claiming that Cruz was against the dirty name calling just two years ago when Trump circulated the name “Lyin’ Ted”, and asks why he is using a tactic that he previously stated he was against. Cuomo did not stop pressuring Cruz, also shedding light on the fact that Cruz’s real first name is Rafael, and that he is using his middle name Ted as a more amenable way to appeal to voters, claiming that both the candidates are doing the same thing.
Ted Cruz is mocking Beto O’Rourke for not going by his birth name of Robert when Cruz doesn’t go by Rafael. Republicans would rather elections be contests of smears than contests of ideas. If Cruz had substance to offer Texans, he wouldn’t launch his campaign with a silly attack.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) March 7, 2018
O'Rourke refuses to engage on Cruz's campaign song mocking his name, saying: "I just don't think that's what folks in Texas want us to focus on … We can focus on the small, mean, petty stuff or we can be big, bold, courageous and confident" https://t.co/6Woz2mxiqX pic.twitter.com/uDMxgOuC7U
— New Day (@NewDay) March 7, 2018
O’Rourke, who found himself winning a primary election that would solidify his position to run for the U.S. Senate spot, has gained immense popularity in recent months. He has not only raised a great deal of money from his supporter base, but his more personable and likable demeanor has given him a more than competitive shot at unseating Cruz. A a result, Cruz is attempting to undertake any means by which he can knock down the popularity level of O’Rourke, which is evidently not working to his favor thus far.
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