Film director Richard Linklater has joined the political fray, making a TV spot attacking Ted Cruz, the Texas senator and former Republican presidential candidate, who is seeking re-election in November.
Sponsored by the Fire Ted Cruz Pac, Linklater’s ad is a riposte to Cruz’s slogan “Tough as Texas”, which has been relentlessly employed for the senator’s campaign against Democrat Beto O’Rourke, one of the highest profile contests of the midterm elections.
The spot features actor Sonny Carl Davis, who had a small role in Linklater’s Texas-set 2011 movie Bernie, sitting at a diner table mocking Cruz. He says: “Somebody left something on my door the other day that said, ‘Ted Cruz: tough as Texas’ … If somebody called my wife a dog, and said my daddy was in on the Kennedy assassination, I wouldn’t be kissin’ their ass.” This is a reference to Donald Trump’s endorsement of a conspiracy theory placing Cruz’s father Rafael with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before President Kennedy’s death during the nomination campaign, and a series of Trump attacks on Cruz’s wife, Heidi.
Davis continues: “You stick your finger in their chest and give them a few choice words. Or you drag their ass out by the woodshed and kick their ass, Ted.”
Linklater, who was born in Houston, has made a string of movies set in the state, including Dazed and Confused, The Newton Boys, Bernie and Boyhood.
The Fire Ted Cruz Pac is chaired by lawyer Marc Stanley, and is legally prevented from co-ordinating with O’Rourke’s campaign.