“People have Ted Cruz fever! It’s kind of like that flu bug going around except the shit comes out your mouth!”
With those words, outspoken satirist Bill Maher began his protracted verbal devastation of 2016 presidential candidate Ted Cruz (R-TX), who recently became the first Republican candidate to throw his hat in the ring, on Friday night’s Real Time with Bill Maher.
The mauling didn’t stop there. As you probably know, Cruz was born in Calgary, Albert, Canada, the son of a Cuban who fought for Fidel Castro in the Cuban Revolution as a teenager, and eventually fled to Austin, Texas a the age of 18. And the world’s most notorious Canadian is, of course, Justin Bieber.
“Ted Cruz, who presents himself as the most all-American guy ever, was born in Canada and his father’s Cuban. He’s half-Canadian and half-Cuban,” Maher said. “He’s got the gravitas of Justin Bieber combined with the people skills of Scarface.”
Bieber comparisons aside, Maher spent the bulk of his hour-long HBO show throwing verbal jabs at Cruz’s perceived hypocrisy and shameless opportunism. Cruz notoriously devoted a great deal of his time to defunding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare), embarking a nationwide tour in 2013 sponsored by The Heritage Foundation; conducting a 21-plus hour filibuster on the floor of the Senate; and has even been accused of being an integral part of the 2013 government shutdown over his objection to the terms of Obamacare. And yet, just this week Cruz announced that he would be signing up for Obamacare.
“The day after he declared, he signed up for Obamacare,” said Maher. “He filibustered it for 21 hours two years ago, and now he’s signed up because his wife is quitting her job, he got his health insurance through his wife, and now she’s quitting to help him on the campaign trail, so he doesn’t have health insurance, so he signs up for Obamacare. He was asked why and he said, ‘I believe we should follow the text of every law—even laws I disagree with.’ Ah. Well you know what, Ted? If you need some medical marijuana, call me.”
But his Obamacare flip-flop paled in comparison to his recent pandering comments concerning why he switched from digging classic rock to country in an interview with CBS This Morning.
“I grew up listening to classic rock. My music taste changed on 9/11… I actually intellectually find this very curious, but on 9/11, I didn’t like how rock music responded,” Cruz said. “And country music, collectively, the way they responded, it resonated with me. I had an emotional reaction that said, ‘These are my people.’ So ever since 2001, I listen to country music.” Cruz, as is his wont, didn’t name any of the rock acts that “responded” in a strange way to 9/11, or any of the country acts that “responded” in a way that made him completely revamp his musical taste. Cue Maher.
“I looked up how rock responded: with three giant fundraisers!” said a bewildered Maher. “September 21, all four networks showed America: A Tribute to Heroes—Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Bon Jovi, Pearl Jam. A virtual roster of classic rock! October 20, Paul McCartney’s Concert For New York—The Who, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Elton John, Eric Clapton. The next day, Michael Jackson had the few rock classic people who were left—Aerosmith, Rod Stewart. Paul McCartney wrote a song called ‘Freedom,’ Bruce Springsteen ‘The Rising,’ Bon Jovi ‘Undivided,’ Neil Young ‘Let’s Roll.’”
Hope Ted Cruz is happy with his Toby Keith.