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WaPo Cartoonist Who Drew Cruz’s Young Daughters As Monkeys Draws GOP As Rats
John Downer/ Getty Images

On Friday, The Washington Post published a cartoon by its “editorial cartoonist,” Ann Telnaes, that depicted what she called “All of the state attorneys general and U.S. Congress members who collaborated with President Trump in his attempt to subvert the Constitution and stay in office” as rats.

Telnaes had infamously drawn the daughters of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) as monkeys in 2015.

This was not the first time Telnaes had termed someone on the other side of the political aisle as a “rat.” In early December, that’s how she depicted Attorney General William Barr. Just before the November election, she depicted Trump alone while a group of rats ran away from him, titling the cartoon, “Trump’s Rat’s Nest.”

In January 2020, she suggested changing the symbol of the Republican Party from the traditional elephant to a rat. In April 2019, Telnaes drew Trump as the devil.

By contrast, here’s how Telnaes saw Barack and Michelle Obama.

Telnaes was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for cartooning in 2001; in 2015, a cartoon she created depicted the two young daughters of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) as monkeys. Cruz’s daughters were four years old and seven years old at the time.

The New York Times reported:

The animation, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Ann Telnaes, depicted the senator turning a crank that made two monkeys dance. It was online for several hours before it was replaced late Tuesday by a note from Fred Hiatt, The Post’s editorial page editor.

Hiatt wrote tepidly, “Editor’s note from Fred Hiatt: It’s generally been the policy of our editorial section to leave children out of it. I failed to look at this cartoon before it was published. I understand why Ann thought an exception to the policy was warranted in this case, but I do not agree.”

Cruz tweeted, “Classy. @washingtonpost makes fun of my girls. Stick w/attacking me – Caroline and Catherine are out of your league.”

Telnaes defended her cartoon in the original posting of it, writing, “When a politician uses his children as political props, as Ted Cruz recently did in his Christmas parody video in which his eldest daughter read (with her father’s dramatic flourish) a passage of an edited Christmas classic, then I figure they are fair game,” adding later on Twitter, “Ted Cruz has put his children in a political ad — don’t start screaming when editorial cartoonists draw them as well.”

Cruz had released an ad showing himself reading his daughters stories called, “How Obamacare Stole Christmas” and “Rudolph the Underemployed Reindeer.” In the video, which was released during Cruz’s presidential campaign, the narrator stated:

Imagine the greatest Christmas stories, told by the senator who once read “Green Eggs and Ham” from the Senate floor.  … A Proven Record presents a collection of timely Christmas classics read by the trusted conservative leader, Ted Cruz. Favorites such as “How Obamacare Stole Christmas” and “Rudolph the Underemployed Reindeer.”

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