The rivalry between CNN’s Chris Cuomo and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) raged on after the former confronted the latter for attacking a Democratic rival for going by a nickname. Cuomo also noted that Cruz himself does not go by his given name.
On Tuesday, Cruz’s campaign released a country radio jingle that attacked Beto O’Rourke shortly after the two won their respective primaries. The song, which will be played across the state according to Cruz, is titled “If You’re Gonna Run in Texas.”
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
The tune quickly moves to criticize O’Rourke for going by the name Beto instead of his given name, Robert, as well as his views on various policies.
“I remember reading stories. Liberal Robert wanted to fit in, so he changed his name to Beto and hid it with a grin,” the song states. “Beto wants those open borders and wants to take our guns. Not a chance he’ll get a vote from millions of Texans.”
“You go after Beto for his name. Beto is obviously a nickname — why?” Cuomo asked Cruz. He argued: “first of all, 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,” he continued. “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.”
“You’re absolutely right, my name is Rafael Edward Cruz,” Cruz replied. He added that he was named after his father, a Cuban immigrant.
“In terms of the jingle, some of it is just have a sense of humor,” the senator said.
Following the release of the song, O’Rourke made an appearance on CNN’s “New Day.” During the program on Wednesday, he declined to make a comment on the jingle.
“I just don’t think that’s what folks in Texas want us to focus on,” he said. “We can get into name calling or talk about why the other person’s such an awful guy, or we can focus on the big things we want to do for the future of our country.”
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
Texas has not elected a statewide Democrat since 1994 and Cruz is desperately trying to avoid breaking that streak. Critics argue that the song was a failed attempt to establish himself above O’Rourke.
Despite some success in the political arena, O’Rourke faces an uphill battle.
H/T: The Hill