These would be fighting words in Texas, if anyone were taking them seriously.
.@peta protested our town hall yesterday, handing out barbecued tofu. We were glad to welcome them, but it illustrates the stakes af the election: if Beto wins, BBQ will be illegal! https://t.co/L1ILod6EST
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) September 16, 2018
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced this silly line of attack against his Democratic rival, Rep. Beto O'Rourke, at a campaign rally on Saturday, responding to PETA handing out barbecued tofu outside. "So I got to say, they summed up the entire election: If Texas elects a Democrat, they’re going to ban barbecue across the state of Texas," he said. "You want to talk about an issue to mobilize the people." The audience laughed.
Cruz didn't explain what tofu has to do with O'Rourke or Democrats, or how a U.S. senator would outlaw barbecue in a state, but in a speech a week earlier, he said liberals wanted to make Texas "just like California, right down to tofu and silicon and dyed hair." Cruz spokeswoman Emily Miller, who once called O'Rourke a "triple meat Whataburger liberal," echoed Cruz's barbecue line, just to show he wasn't entirely joking, tweeting: "Texas on the brink of #AbolishBBQ if voters don't #KeepTexasRed."
"Cruz's words may have been in jest — the suggestion that O'Rourke, an El Paso Democrat, is an an enemy of barbecue is clearly a straw man made of tofu — but that doesn't mean they didn't have the serious purpose of further planting an image in voters' minds of O'Rourke as a candidate outside the mainstream of Texas values," explains Jonathan Tilove at the Austin American-Statesman.
O'Rourke hasn't bothered chasing Cruz's barbecue conspiracy, tweeting instead about expanding Medicaid and protecting health care coverage from Republicans — and lemonade, which he clearly doesn't want to ban.
Lemonade in Alpine! pic.twitter.com/AX58XNlppx
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 15, 2018
Anyway, watch for some anti-lemonade angle in Cruz's next attack. Peter Weber