This campaign season has not had much humor to offer, especially when it comes to the Beto vs. Cruz campaign, which has more migraine potential than a room full of sugar-happy second graders. But now a PAC called Fire Ted Cruz has guaranteed at least a couple of laughs thanks to the help of a former actor in the movie Bernie—Sonny Carl Davis—and the director of said film, Richard Linklater.
Cruz has relentlessly criticized O’Rourke for not being Texan enough—arguing that no matter how many counties Beto visits, he’ll always be too liberal and too punk rock for ordinary Texans. The Fire Ted Cruz PAC strikes back at Cruz in language any Texan can understand. “Somebody left something on my door the other day that said, ‘Ted Cruz: tough as Texas,'” Davis says in the video. “If somebody called my wife a dog, and said my Daddy was in on the Kennedy assassination, I wouldn’t be kissin’ their ass,” Davis suggests, referring to comments made by President Trump while running against Cruz in 2016.
“The truth is people know that Ted Cruz is not a very likable person,” says the chairman of the PAC, Dallas class action attorney Marc Stanley. “This is not the kind of guy we want to represent us. If we can use the humor and the creativity of Richard Linklater and The Bear (an Austin-based production team), it’s a great opportunity.”
Humor has been a theme for Stanley’s PAC, for which he and investment banker Vaughn Vennerberg II of MorningStar Partners ponied up the seed money. Vennerberg contributed $100,000, while Stanley gave $10,000. Their website is ftedcruz.com. It comes complete with a quiz called “How Bad of a Person is Ted Cruz?”
The PAC is not legally allowed to coordinate with any campaign, but Democratic nominee Beto O’Rourke’s camp may be laughing about the committee’s latest venture. Like the movie Bernie—co-written by Texas Monthly’s own Skip Hollandsworth—the commercial pokes affectionate fun at Texans while showing us to have plenty of good ol’ horse sense, too, in a commercial that is most definitely not aimed at any coffee slurpin,’ bike ridin,’ late sleepin’ millennials. At least, I don’t think so.