Ted Cruz is many things. He’s the star of his very own patriotic coloring book. He’s a Republican senator from Texas. He is running for president like he’s a televangelist. He is a bad roommate. He is not a fan of the show True Blood, but he is a huge fan of The Simpsons.
On Thursday, The Daily Beast’s Washington bureau chief Will Rahn joined Sen. Cruz on a radio show hosted by Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist. The three discussed video games, Cruz’s efforts to derail ObamaCare, and why Cruz thinks he is so disliked by his Senate colleagues. They also touched on The Simpsons, for whatever reason. The senator proceeded to list his top-two Simpsons episodes, and then enthusiastically quote his favorite lines of dialogue from each of them.
His all-time favorite episode is “‘Round Springfield,” from 1995, in which jazz saxophonist Bleeding Gums Murphy (a minor character) dies. The episode coined the phrase “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” to mock the French; the phrase has since taken on a political life of its own in post-9/11 America.
Cruz’s second most cherished Simpsons episode is “Treehouse of Horror VII,” which first aired in 1996. The Halloween episode includes a segment in which tyrannical space aliens named Kang and Kodos abduct Bill Clinton and Bob Dole, and then assume their form in order to run for president and take over the world. Cruz’s favorite line is uttered by the alien Clinton, who tells an excited debate audience that America must continue “twirling towards freedom!” Here’s the clip:
Cruz enjoys The Simpsons enough that he used a clip of Homer Simpson booing the Internal Revenue Service in order to call for abolishing the IRS on Tax Day last year:
Unfortunately for Cruz, the love is definitely not mutual. “To paraphrase Kang, ‘Ted Cruz?’ Go ahead, throw your vote away,” Simpsons showrunner Al Jean told The Daily Beast, using one of the senator’s favorite episodes against him. This much is to be expected. After all, The Simpsons writers and creative team are generally very liberal politically.