Ted Cruz claims to love The Simpsons. They do not love him back.
During an appearance at CPAC on Thursday, The Federalist founder Ben Domenech began his interview with Senator Cruz (R-TX) with a reference from The Simpsons.
“Homer points out that guns are for things like protecting your family, hunting delicious animals and making sure that the king of England never shows up to push you around,” Domenech told Cruz, who replied, “All good things.”
Continuing on, Domenech said, Lisa Simpson told her father that the Second Amendment is “a relic, a remnant of the Revolutionary War era” and “doesn’t really mean anything anymore.”
“I think the Democrats are the party of Lisa Simpson,” Cruz responded, “and Republicans are happily the party of Homer and Bart and Maggie and Marge.”
It did not take long for The Simpsons’ longtime showrunner Al Jean to weigh in with his thoughts on Twitter, disputing the idea that Maggie Simpson would ever support Ted Cruz and joking that “even Mr. Burns is thinking of becoming a Democrat” in the age of Trump.
In an email to The Daily Beast, Jean said he thinks Cruz “taking 4 out of 5 is just too greedy,” and also shared a quote from Homer Simpson himself that harkened back to the days when conservatives criticized The Simpsons for its lack of family values: “I thought the Republicans wanted us to be more like the Waltons. Make up your minds!”
Later, Jean called to add a few more thoughts about Cruz’s relationship to the show.
“I like that Mr. Cruz enjoys The Simpsons, but I think his understanding of the characters is weak,” the showrunner said in a deliberate understatement. “I think if he explored Lisa’s positions, he’s a smart man, he might change his mind,” Jean added, letting out a hearty laugh.
Though Cruz proclaims to be a major fan of the show—even performing cringe-inducing impressions of the characters for BuzzFeed during the GOP primaries in 2015—he failed to catch the gaping error in Domenech’s retelling of the 1997 episode, titled “The Cartridge Family.” While Homer does indeed tell Lisa, “If I didn’t have this gun, the king of England could come in here any time he wants and start shoving you around,” it is Krusty the Clown who lists off the three things he believes guns are good for.
“Guns aren’t toys,” Krusty tells Homer at one point. “They’re for family protection, hunting dangerous or delicious animals, keeping the king of England out of your face.”
One might also imagine that Cruz would think less of The Simpsons after the way they portrayed him in a 2016 clip that took viewers inside Marge Simpson’s political nightmare.
Using the real voices of Republican presidential candidates, the show had Trump lift up Cruz’s suit jacket to reveal a Canadian flag on his back before John Kasich punched him in the face.
As for which party Homer Simpson himself supports, his allegiances seem to have evolved over the years.
Homer tried to vote for Obama in 2008, but thanks to a faulty voting machine, ended up casting two ballots for John McCain. In 2012, he changed his vote to Mitt Romney, joking, “I already got one wife telling me to eat healthy.” After voting for Romney, however, the voting machine revealed Romney’s tax returns, which included a “personality implant,” “six wives all named Ann,” and that “the government paid him taxes for five years.” When Homer threatens to leak the info to the press, he’s outsourced to China.
Four years later, in a short video released in the summer of 2016, he and Marge are lying in bed. She tells him they can’t make love until they both decide who to vote for in the general election.
When Homer suggests that he might be voting for Trump, Marge replies, “If that’s your vote, I question whether I can ever be with you again.”
Turning to the camera, so to speak, Homer says, “And that’s how I became a Democrat.”