“I haven’t had this much negative press coverage since northern California in the 1960s,” Senator Ted Cruz said, inflicting a morsel of humor into an interview with the hosts of Ruthless, a podcast whose entire premise is built on the idea that conservatives can be funny, actually. But the only thing funnier than Cruz’s reference to the meme that he’s the Zodiac Killer was his tepid lament on how “politicized” we are, as well as his suggestion that people “stop being assholes.”
Pot. Kettle. Black.
Cruz was right in saying that he had a hell of a week: He was roundly criticized for embarking on a beach getaway to Cancún, Mexico, last Wednesday while his constituents in Texas suffered from freezing temperatures, a lack of electricity, and contaminated water following an unprecedented winter storm. Dozens have died, and the death toll is expected to rise in the coming days. Anger against Cruz mounted swiftly, prompting him to return to Texas the next day. He insisted that he was just trying to be a good dad to his 10- and 12-year-old daughters who he claims were itching for a getaway. The controversy reached new heights when text messages from Cruz’s wife, Heidi, in a group chat of neighbors leaked, revealing Heidi’s plan to book a multi-night stay at a luxury resort as a remedy to the cold.
Cruz confirmed that Heidi is “pretty pissed” about the leak.
“We’ve got a number of Republicans who are neighbors, but we’ve also got a number of Democrats,” Cruz said. “Look, it’s a sign of how ridiculously politicized and nasty and just, you know, here’s a suggestion: just don’t be assholes! Treat each other as human beings, have some modicum of respect.”
He later added, “We just need to laugh a little bit and loosen up.”
This is pretty rich coming from a man who spent the last few months endlessly taking L’s for former President Donald Trump and insisted that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him. It’s also pretty rich to hear Cruz plead with people to stop being assholes and treat people with respect when everything the average person knows about Cruz; from his refusal to allow anyone who didn’t go to Harvard, Princeton, or Yale into his study group in law school, to his entire political track record as an enemy of the most marginalized Americans, to the fact that even his Republican colleagues think he’s a pompous piece of shit.
Cruz did have one gripe that was relatively understandable: The paparazzi hounding his wife in Cancún. We can quibble about the optics of a Senator’s wife luxuriating on a sandy beach during a crisis in her home state until we’re blue in the face, but it’s safe to say that nobody needed confirmation of Heidi Cruz in a bathing suit on a beach with her children. It’s too bad Cruz couldn’t discuss this invasion of privacy without sounding like a horndog:
Even more creepy, frankly, was paparazzi went down to the beach and took pictures of Heidi in her bikini... and the New York Post ran all these pictures of Heidi in her bikini. And I will tell you, THAT she is pissed about. All the rest of it she’s fine, but she’s... now, I’m sitting here—look, Heidi is smokin’ hot, so I looked at the pictures and said, man, you look great—but, you know, she’s... I don’t think there are many women who would be thrilled to have reporters following them around and taking pictures of their bikinis and sticking them in the pages of the New York Post. But that’s what [constitutes as] journalism these days.
I’m requesting hazard pay for having to hear Cruz say “bikini” so many times, not to mention “smokin’ hot.”
The rest of the interview consisted of miscellaneous anecdotes: Snowflake, the family dog, was fine, actually, during Cruz’s brief vacation (fine); he kept a folder listing his failures as a child (weird, but sure); and his last meal of choice would be beef enchiladas (okay). But nothing could top the alarming lack of self-awareness that continued to rear its ugly, patchy, bearded head.
“Going forward, we are and should be the party of jobs and the blue-collar and the working class,” Cruz said toward the end of the interview, pontificating on the Republican Party post-Trump. “We need to be effective, we need to be willing to fight, we need to be willing to stand up to cancel culture, but I think people also want leaders who are effective and not shooting themselves in the foot.”
Wise words from a man who, as the last week has shown, is pretty dedicated to shooting himself in the foot.