Yesterday, Ted Cruz made headlines with a petty – and hypocritical – attack on his Democratic challenger, three-term Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who is now running for Cruz’s Senate seat. In a new campaign radio ad, Cruz referred to his challenger as “Robert O’Rourke,” instead of Beto, mocking him for allegedly using a Latin-sounding nickname to appeal to progressive voters.
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
Today, in a tweet that needed no caption, O’Rourke shared an image of himself as a child. He is wearing a shirt with his nickname – Beto – clearly written across the front. In other words, unless this toddler was already “pandering” to Hispanic voters, Cruz’s juvenile argument is moot.
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— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) March 7, 2018
CNN’s Chris Cuomo confronted Cruz on the blatant dog whistling and called him out live on his show New Day this morning.
“You go after Beto for his name. Beto is obviously a nickname — why?” Cuomo asked. “You didn’t like that dirty pool when you were running for president and the president called you ‘Lyin’ Ted,’ you didn’t like that kind of tactic…”
“And you know what, your name is Rafael, you go by Ted but your middle name is Edward, that’s a more Anglicized version of it,” Cuomo added. “He went the other way and has a more ethnic version of his name — why go after him? You’re both doing the same thing.”
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
O’Rourke scored a stunning, though expected, primary victory last night to secure his place in November’s U.S. Senate race. He is mounting a strong and well-organized challenge and has raised a ton of money and attention as he works to unseat the controversial Republican. Cruz, for his part, has been in full panic mode for weeks.
It’s wholly telling that while Cruz tried to employ a petty campaign smear, he is now the one in trouble for it. What a classless way to go down.