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.
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.”
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: