Earlier, the Washington Post posted an animated cartoon by Ann Telnaes depicted Ted Cruz, dressed in a Santa suit, with his two daughters, aged 7 and 5, portrayed as organ grinder’s monkeys. The cartoon was up for about several hours before it came under attack by conservatives, including Cruz himself, and was ultimately taken down. Cruz sarcastically tweeted “Classy @washingtonpost makes fun of my girls. Stick w/ attacking me-Caroline & Catherine are out of your league.”
This cartoon was in response to an ad the candidate ran during the Democratic debate on Saturday, a fake infomercial for Christmas stories that parodied Democrats, such as “How Obamacare Stole Christmas” and “The Grinch Who Lost Her Emails”, being read by Ted Cruz to his family. While Telnaes has acknowledged that there’s an “unspoken rule” in editorial cartooning that the children of politicians are off-limits, she argued that when a politician uses his children as “political props”, then they’re fair game. However, editorial page editor Fred Hiatt disagreed, although he said he understood where she was coming from, and wrote that he never would have approved of the cartoon in the first place.
In anticipation of the ad yesterday, Telnaes released a tweet hinting that a cartoon featuring Ted Cruz’s kids would be coming up soon, which featured a link to the commercial. This also isn’t the first time Ted Cruz has tried to use his children in a commercial; recently, Vice released an article making fun of outtakes from a Ted Cruz campaign video, where the presidential hopeful coached his family about what to say.
However, that isn’t to say that over the course of his campaign, Ted Cruz hasn’t shown he has a sense of humor. Even if the commercial Telnaes was referring to has a clear pro-Cruz agenda, as evidenced by subtle lines like “a proven record presents…” and “The Senator Who Saved Christmas”, it’s also pretty tongue-in-cheek. Over the summer, Cruz released a video where he cooked “machine gun bacon”, combining two of Texas’ favorite pastimes: guns and meat. While mocking Cruz’s children might have gone a bit too far, you have to wonder if he can take what he dishes out.