After easily winning his primary Tuesday night, Sen. Ted Cruz dropped his first general election ad — a pretty funny rendition of Alabama's "If You're Gonna Play In Texas" that smacks Cruz's Democratic opponent, Robert "Beto" O'Rourke, for trying to "fit in" with Texas voters by changing his name to something that sounded a little more local.
Unsurprisingly, the ad immediately triggered CNN. But when the network tried to call out Cruz for calling out "Beto," CNN's left-wing bias-driven effort once again backfired.
Below is the ad Cruz tweeted out Tuesday night smacking his Irish American opponent for trying to sound a little more Hispanic. The key line: "I remember reading stories liberal Robert wanted to fit in, so he changed his name to 'Beto' and hid it with a grin."
CNN promptly interviewed both O'Rourke and Cruz the next morning and then covered the interviews in an embarrassing piece hilariously titled "Rafael (Ted) Cruz justifies mocking Robert (Beto) O'Rourke's name." Both the show and the follow-up report try to play up the "gotcha" angle of Ted using his middle name, but end up just informing readers that, yeah, O'Rourke's attempts at Hispanic creds isn't fooling anyone and Cruz's background is a true American success story that does in fact include an Hispanic heritage.
"I just don't think that's what folks in Texas want us to focus on," O'Rourke told his sympathetic CNN host. "We can get into name-calling and talk about why the other person is such an awful guy, or we can focus on the big things we want to do for the future of our country, for the generations that will succeed us."
CNN.com notes that O'Rourke went on to chide Cruz for his focus on "small, mean, petty stuff," rather than the "big, bold, courageous, and confident" things he plans to focus on.
Cruz, meanwhile, defended "the sense of humor" underlying the ad and then flipped the script on CNN by using the name-game as a chance to remind their dwindling audience of his family's inspiring background.
"You're absolutely right. My name is Rafael Edward Cruz," Cruz told Chris Cuomo. "I am the son of my father Rafael Cruz, an immigrant from Cuba who came to Texas with nothing."
Here's the clip via CNN:
Another media fail related to Cruz's Tuesday win was the voter turnout: After much hype about a greater than normal Democrat turnout, the Republicans ended up once again dwarfing them at the polls.