On the day of Texas’ primary election, Senator Ted Cruz‘s camp released a 60-second radio ad calling out challenger Representative Beto O’Rourke for not going by Robert, his birth name. “Liberal Robert wanted to fit in, so he changed his name to Beto and hid it with a grin,” the jingle said. But his hypocrisy wasn’t lost on all those who pointed out that a version of this comment could also apply to Ted Cruz, who chooses to go by Ted (short for his middle name Edward) instead of Rafael, his first name.
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
For his part, Beto has defended the nickname. “My parents have called me Beto from day one, and it’s just – it’s kind of a nickname for Robert in El Paso. It just stuck,” he told CNN. After some backlash, Ted spoke out and said the jab was just a joke. “In terms of the jingle, some of it is just having a sense of humor,” Cruz told CNN’s New Day. “We had some fun with it.”
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
When asked about his own decision to not go by Rafael, he also justified his nickname. “You’re absolutely right. My name is Rafael Edward Cruz,” he said. “I am the son of my father Rafael Cruz, an immigrant from Cuba who came to Texas with nothing.”
But the damage was already done, and people have taken to Twitter to roast him. Check out a few reactions below:
Apparently Ted Cruz – who was born in Canada, conspicuously does not go by his real name of Rafael Cruz, and is actually some strange kind of invertebrate weasel – is criticizing his Texas-born election opponent, Beto O’Roarke, for not using his given name of ‘Robert’.
— Thomas Vought (@TomVought) March 7, 2018
childhood and has the baby picture of himself in a “Beto” sweater to prove it. And Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz doesn’t have a whole lot of standing on this one.
— Vincent E Ankner (@oregonvt) March 7, 2018
Beto is just a nickname for Robert. He didn't change his name. And Ted Cruz is a tool.
— Jacqueline Raimo (@jackieraimo) March 7, 2018
But really?! Ted Cruz picking on Beto O’Rourke for trying to fit in? Ted Cruz went by Rafael in college, I actually know people who went to school with him who are like “dude never went by Ted” https://t.co/PjEIJFk4KC
— Atima Omara (@atima_omara) March 7, 2018
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
Here is Ted Cruz being called out for going by 'Ted' even though his name is Rafael and his answer is pathetic.
He talks about him being Cuban only when it's beneficial for him. Pathetic.pic.twitter.com/0jDFzKqTgL
— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) March 7, 2018